Doha Visited by IAAF Evaluation Commission, by Alfons Juck, note by Larry Eder

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So, the evaluation visits are over to London and Doha. The 2017 IAAF World Champs Site Evaluation Commission has finished both visits, and, as no surprise had lovely things to say about both sites! And why not? That is part of their job.

The Doha team, like the London team, tried to accentuate the positives and push the negatives under the proverbial rug. Doha wants to move the event to September 9 to 17 and gave a demonstration of air conditioning in the stadium, which is built.

Who will win the 2017 World Championships bid sweepstakes? I have my hunch, dear readers, but, I will keep it to myself. We will stay tuned to the November 11 announcement!




DOHA (QAT): Doha appears to have overcome what was generally perceived as its biggest obstacle to hosting the 2017 World Championships after Bob Hersh, the senior vice-president of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), revealed that he was impressed with the state-of-the-art cooling technology that was demonstrated. Insidethegames writes that Hersh and the rest of the IAAF Evaluation Commission were taken to the Al Sadd Stadium where the technology has already been installed and where FIFA were also taken last year during Qatar's successful bid to host the 2022 World Cup. "What the Qataris showed us is the possibly of air conditioning an open stadium. We were out there this morning and saw actual demonstration of that. It's developing the technology but you could see the potential and that air conditioning an outdoor stadium can be done," IAAF Senior Vice-President Hersh was quoted. Under Doha's proposals, the Championships will be held between September 9 and 17, the latest the event has ever taken place. "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-meter panoramic screen that will allow fans to enjoy the action in a new way," Hersh said. IAAF informs that the IAAF Evaluation Commission has concluded its two-stop tour of cities bidding for the 2017 World Championships in Doha. 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." 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-kilometer Corniche.



GRONINGEN (NED): The jubilee 25th edition of 4 miles of Groningen in Netherlands will have a special star running this Sunday. Olympic winner Kenenisa Bekele. His aim is to attack the world best 17:07 of Eliud Kipchoge in 2007 and Yenew Alamirew last year. Interestingly Alamirew is entered to run also this year. For Bekele it will be his fourth road race appearance after twice running the 10 km and one 15 km. The top woman name is Kenyan Sylvia Kibet, world medalist from Daegu at 5000 m with Almensch Belete and Ines Monteiro of Portugal. Here the world best of another Kenyan Emily Chebet from last year is 19:20. Prominent football coach Louis van Gaal will be the starter of the race.


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