Doha is the next host city of the world’s third biggest sporting event following a momentous handover ceremony at the London 2017 Stadium recently, broadcast to a global audience as this year’s World Championships came to a spectacular end.

Doha will host the IAAF World Championships in Athletics at Khalifa International Stadium in 2019, bringing the Athletics’ flagship event to the Middle East for the first time.

Speaking on the IAAF World Championships Doha 2019, President of the Organising Committee Sheikh Joaan Bin Hamad Al Thani said that hosting the global Athletics’ flagship event is a natural next step for Qatar.

We will work hard to combine our passion for Athletics, our experience and knowledge of hosting major athletics events and our warm hospitality and rich culture to organise a unique, memorable and highly successful World Championships. We will embrace this unique opportunity to introduce athletics to new audiences and new markets, inspire new athletes and capture the attention of new fans, ensuring that we maximise the full potential of our region’s first-ever World Championships. We cannot wait to connect the world of athletics in two years’ time.’

Qatar’s newly crowned World Champion, Mutaz Barshim, who won Qatar’s first-ever World Championship medal in athletics, brought the flag into the London Stadium together with UK Athletics superstar Laura Muir.

Images of Doha’s iconic landmarks and rich heritage were animated on the big screens giving the audience a taste of what to expect in 2019. The flag was then handed from IAAF President Lord Sebastian Coe to President of the Qatar Athletics Federation and Vice-President of the Doha 2019 Organising Committee Dr Thani Abdulrahman Al Kuwari before a Doha 2019 promotional film was played on the stadium’s huge screens, marking Doha officially becoming the next host city.

Dr Thani Abdulrahman Al Kuwari said that it is an absolute honour for Doha to receive the IAAF flag from London 2017 and host the next IAAF World Championships in Athletics.

We congratulate London for hosting a phenomenal World Championships and we thank their teams for their support and guidance over the last two weeks in transferring their knowledge and expertise to our teams. We will rise to the occasion as we prepare to enter the next phase of our preparations to host the world’s third biggest sporting event.’

Lord Coe said that they too, look forward with excitement to the IAAF World Championships in Doha

We need to continue to globalise our sport and it is the first visit to the Middle East for our World Championships.  I know they will deliver a great event.’

The IAAF World Championships is the world’s third biggest sporting event behind the Olympic Games and FIFA World Cup. The scale of the event is huge due to the number of athletes, countries and disciplines, with approximately 2000 athletes from over 200 countries competing for 47 gold medals.

A significant step in Doha’s progress towards the 2019 World Championships was achieved earlier this year when renovation works on Khalifa International Stadium were complete. The 40,000-seat state-of-the-art stadium reopened in May 2017 following an extensive refurbishment that transformed the venue into one of the most technologically advanced stadiums in the world.

Doha’s significant progress in the development of athletics has been showcased at these World Championships with Mutaz Barshim stamping his name in high jump history, Abdelalah Haroun winning bronze in the 400m and 21-year-old Ahmed Bedeir finishing an outstanding 10th in the javelin final against much older and more experienced competitors.

The Doha 2019 World Championships provide an opportunity to create a springboard for further Athletics development across Qatar and the whole of the Middle East. Showcasing the contagious excitement of world-class athletics can capture the imagination of a new generation of young athletes and help them to see that it is possible to achieve the highest level of success.

You can follow the progress towards Doha 2019 on Twitter (@Doha_2019) and Facebook (@Doha2019) and with the hashtag #Doha2019.

Related Link:
Qatar’s Barshim Bags First Gold as IAAF’s World High Jump Champion