Officials allay Doha heat fears

Published: Wednesday 19th November 2014 by The News Editor

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Qatari officials have moved quickly to ease fears that heat could prove a health risk at the 2019 World Athletics Championships.

Doha beat off competition from Eugene and Barcelona to earn the vote of the IAAF council following presentations from all three cities in Monaco.

But the decision has already been questioned by reigning world 400m champion Christine Ohuruogu, who said endurance athletes in particular could be at risk.

Ohuruogu told the Guardian: “To have the extra pressure of your body having to work against that heat, I just wonder how many people will manage.

“It’s a concern. Maybe the sprinters can get away with it because they are not out there for that long but for the guys who are running laps and laps, they are pushing their bodies to the limit anyway, to add the extra ingredient of extreme heat, I would be worried about what would happen to them and their health.”

The bidding victory comes amid continued controversy over the award of the 2022 football World Cup to the gulf state, and issues over when the tournament can best be staged.

But organisers say they will combat the heat at the World Athletics Championships by staging it between September 28 and October 6 – rather than in August when the championships are usually held.

Qatar Olympic Committee’s senior advisor Aphrodite Moschoudi insisted during the bid presentation: “T he temperature in Doha at this time of year is no different to several recent World Championships.

“Average temperature at that time of the year is even lower than temperatures we have at our Diamond League meeting every May.”

Doha pipped Eugene by 15 votes to 12 in the final round of voting after Barcelona had been eliminated at the first age with just six votes.

IAAF president Lamine Diack said: “I’m sure that we will have, in Doha, a wonderful edition of the World Championships.

“I am convinced they are committed through sport to developing their country and their community. And they are doing the right things.”

Published: Wednesday 19th November 2014 by The News Editor

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