Doha to host 2019 world athletics event

Qatari capital will become the first city in Middle East to host the 2019 IAAF World Athletics Championships.

    Doha beat off competition from Barcelona and Eugene [EPA]
    Doha beat off competition from Barcelona and Eugene [EPA]

    Qatar's emergence as a global sporting hub gained further clout when Doha was chosen as host city for the 2019 IAAF World Athletics Championships.

    The fast-growing city alongside the Arabian Gulf will become the first from the Middle East to stage the blue riband event.

    Overlooked for the 2017 championships in favour of London, the Qatari capital was selected ahead of rival bids from 1992 Olympic hosts Barcelona and the American city of Eugene, often referred to as Track Town.

    Doha earned 12 votes to Eugene's nine and Barcelona's six in the initial secret ballot of the IAAF Council before winning 15-12 over Eugene in the second vote.

    It is a timely boost for Qatar which has been mired in the controversy surrounding FIFA's decision to award the desert nation the 2022 World Cup.

    The 17th World Championships will take place at the newly-modernised Khalifa Stadium in early October, later than usual, to spare competitors from the worst of the searing desert heat.

    Long-serving IAAF president Lamine Diack said the three candidates had been the best he had seen.

    "I'm sure that in Doha we will have a wonderful edition of the world championships," he said.

    "I'm convinced they are committed to sport and they are doing the right things and it will continue like that."

    SOURCE: Reuters


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