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Doha bid submitted for 2017 World Championships

Doha bid submitted for 2017 World Championships

DAEGU, September 1, 2011 - Doha formally joined two European cities in the bid for the 2017 World Athletics Championships hosting rights.

Doha Bid Committee Vice-President Dahlan Jumaan al Hamad presented the first draft to International Association of Athletics Federations General Secretary Pierre Weiss at the Hotel Inter-Burgo at 11 am today.

Other cities to bid for the premier athletics championship in the world are London and Barcelona. They also handed their files to the IAAF.

Dahlan, who is serving his third term as the Vice-President in the newly-elected IAAF Council, said, "Doha is a serious bidder. We've a long history of organising events in Qatar and the biggest event that we have hosted so far is the 2006 Asian Games, which turned out to be the biggest and most successful continental event at that time.

"The Asian Games have really raised our profile. And after that, we started to look for more big sports meets. As far as the 2017 World Championship bidding is concerned, we know about our competitors present in the bid battle and we well also aware how tough winning the rights to hold the World Championship would be.

"But with the support of the Emir His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani and the Heir Apparent HH Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al Thani, we're staking our claims quite strongly and highly optimistic about bringing the meet to the Arab world for the first time,"commented Dahlan.

Soon the bidding cities would kick-off their campaigns for the 16th edition of the popular championship in the world. This will be followed by the IAAF inspection team some time in October. The inspection team will give its assessment report to the IAAF Council and then the winner will be announce in Monaco after the final presentation and discussion on November 11.

"The world championship means a lot to Qatar. When we thought about hosting the world championship, we represented the Gulf region and Arab world. Historically, this region has done a lot in promotion of the sport. But we could not get enough places in the IAAF Council for various reasons.

"Qatar has taken the responsibility to represent this big and vibrant region. We're all partners and our slogan also means progressing through partnership. This 2017 championship in Doha will add more momentum to the athletics development which is already going on in this area. That is why we are so serious about this meet," said Dahlan.

He also said that the World Championship is the biggest championship of the IAAF, with about 200 countries figuring in it. "The bidding city is chosen considering many factors. The legacy is the most important aspect among them. Then the IAAF family also wants to know about the ambitions of the people from the bidding cities, environment, hospitality, sponsors and marketing strategy.

"After the championship is over, the legacy must ensure the growth of the athletics and athletes. It is No 2 sporting event after the Olympic Games in terms of participating nations. Our objective is to offer a chance even to those nations whose athletes have not attained high standards. This is just to encourage the sport in those nations," said the IAAF vice-president.

"The standard of organising the worlds has been rising constantly. There is a lot of difference in oraganising strategies now than before. The Asia has held two championships before, one is currently going on and the fourth one is scheduled in Beijing after four years. Our resources are being used by the IAAF but our athletics standard has not gone up to expected levels.

"Being the acting president of the Asian Athletics Association, I'd try to get various development schemes implemented in Asia so that our athletes can also grow technically and reach the matching standards of other competitors. Soon the development programmes will be announced. And by the time, the world championships 2017 comes, there will be much athletes from Asia than what we have today," said he.

Dahlan also feels that the support of the IAAF family to him and other Arab world candidates during the IAAF Council would play a big role in the city selection for the 2017 Worlds."

"This was not my victory. I won because Qatar has been doing so much in the field of sports. Now we are three persons in the IAAF Council with Ahmad al Kamali of the UAE also getting the nod from the Arab world members. The unity that we showed, it helped us in the election. This will also give Doha an edge in Monaco when the winning city is declared in November," said he.

Dahlan and Lord Sebastian Coe are the part of their cities' respective bid teams. Asked what would be your role when the final presentation is made in Monaco, he said: "The IAAF bid rule says that if a person is part of a city's bid and the IAAF Council, he may be available during the final presentation but he can't take part in the discussion. This rule has been devised to avoid any kind of manipulation by that person during the final stages of the bid. After the discussion is over, I can cast my vote."

(Source: AIPS)