Khalifa Stadium, 3 May 2019, photo by Stuart Weir
The following piece is the intro by Stuart Weir on the the Khalifa Stadium, new home of Doha DL and WC Doha 2019. As we post this, Stuart had provided 5 stories, 2 videos and a dozen photos on Doha DL and has just landed in Tokyo, as he will be covering the Yokahama meeting, aka the IAAF World Relays, which are next weekend.
The Diamond League program got underway at the new Khalifa International Stadium, called after Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani, former Emir of Qatar. The stadium, one of the 2022 World Cup venues, holds 40,000. It is an impressive architectural structure and even though it was less than half-full, the noise was deafening at times. As Dina Asher-Smith said, “The atmosphere was amazing and the crowd so happy. You could fill the stadium with their energy”.
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First view of new Khalifa Stadium, host of Doha Diamond league today and Doha 2019, World Champs, Sept 26-Oct 5! Runblogrun at Khalifa Stadium, Doha, Qatar, 3 May 2019, video by @stuartweir, @dldoha, @diamond_league, @iaaf, #roadtothefinals, #runblogrun, #theshoeaddicts, #DohaDL
(Instagram featues video by Stuart Weir, 3 May 2019, prior to Doha DL)
Ironically with all the concern about the heat in Qatar during the soccer World Cup and the need to change the traditional program timings for the World Athletics Championship, the only complaints this evening were that the stadium was too cold!
British runner, Meghan Beesley said: “It a really nice track but it was surprisingly cool with the air conditioning. You were almost wondering if you were inside or outside”. The problem was exacerbated by the 400 hurdlers being called out to the track fully 15 minutes before the race time.
It was a lovely stadium to work in with the media seats easily accessible, close to the track and with a great view .The mixed zone where journalists meet athletes was very close.