News update - October 6
The IAAF Evaluation Commission has concluded its two-stop tour of cities bidding for the 2017 World Championships with a visit to Doha, the capital of Qatar.
Underlining its determination to follow up on its hosting of international athletics meetings and the World Indoor Championships last year by earning the right to host the IAAF's most important competition, Qatar looked to impress the Evaluation Commission with the facilities in Doha.
Bob Hersh, IAAF Senior Vice President and chairman of the Evaluation Commission said, "Doha is a city that has shown fantastic growth and development, and I've been impressed by how that growth has continued since my most recent visit here last year. As Organisational Delegate for the 2010 IAAF World Indoor Championships in Doha, I have personally experienced how well the Qataris can organise a major athletics event. They were perfect partners then, and a pleasure to work with."
"There is no doubt that the Doha team are extremely motivated and dedicated to making a very strong bid, where innovation and new ideas take centre stage," Hersh continued. "For example, we heard that as part of the refurbishment plans for the Khalifa Stadium, not only will there be a sophisticated air conditioning system in place to ensure comfortable temperatures for the athletes and spectators, but also a giant 100-metre panoramic screen that will allow fans to enjoy the action in a new way. We also appreciate the significance of the Bid Committee's vision that the World Championships can provide an opportunity to continue the development of athletics in new regions worldwide."
Abdulla Al Zaini, President of the Qatar Association of Athletics Federation (QAAF) and Executive Director of Doha 2017 Bid Committee, said, "We want to show the IAAF that selecting Doha will be an investment in the future of the sport. Because we want to set new standards and to organise a World Championships like before and at the same we want to develop new solutions for reaching new frontiers."
"A 2017 World Championships in Doha will be a catalyst for developing our sport all over the world. We feel we have the resources, the vision and the commitment needed and we are convinced that Doha 2017 will be the right partner for the IAAF."
The IAAF Evaluation Commission visited main venues that are being proposed for the 2017 event including the 40,000 seat Khalifa Stadium that was used for the Asian Games, and a number of training and warm up facilities located in what is called the Aspire Zone.
The proposed main competition site, Khalifa Stadium, is set to be refurbished by 2016, just prior to the Championships. It will become the first climate controlled stadium to host a World Championships and by 2017, is expected to be one of the most technologically advanced stadiums in the world.
The Commission subsequently visited the Al Sadd Stadium to experience the cooling technology already operational there. The Evaluation Commission was accompanied by Doha 2017 Bid Ambassador Andreas Thorkildsen of Norway, who coached a young group of athletes on site.
As well as reviewing the media and medical facilities within the Aspire Zone, the delegation visited the Qatar Foundation's new conference facility, the Qatar National Convention Centre. This remarkable new facility, which is officially opening in the winter, would be used as the venue for the Congress of the IAAF's 212 Member Federations that always precedes the competition.
Finally, the delegation visited the site of "Athletics City", which is part of a new development of luxury apartments which is proposed as an athletes' village and will allow athletes to be within walking distance of Doha's traditional centre and the seven-kilometre Corniche.
The bid committee, which is chaired by the General Secretary of the Qatar Olympic Committee Sheikh Saoud Bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, presented the technical bid for the Championships covering detailed plans for technical organisation, transport, marketing and promotion, security and broadcasting.
The IAAF Evaluation Commission for the 2017 World Championships also included Council Members Alberto Juantorena, Malboum Kalkaba, Honorary Council Member Cesar Moreno, IAAF General Secretary Pierre Weiss as well as IAAF staff members and representatives of the IAAF's Exclusive Marketing partner Dentsu.
Posted on www.iaaf.org