Qataris set to upstage rival bidders London in their bid to host the 2017 world track and field championships.
Qatari officials plan to unveil retractable seating and a brand new athletics track at their flagship Khalifa Stadium in their bid to host the 2017 world track and field championships.
By Jacquelin Magnay,
Olympics Editor in Doha
01 May 2011
The Qataris are also poised to use the same convincing tactics as their triumphant 2022 Fifa world cup campaign to underscore their athletics bid – which if successful, could also launch a future Olympic Games bid.
The fears of Neale Coleman, the adviser to Mayor of London Boris Johnson, who told the London Assembly last month that the city will have to increase its bid budget to rival the Qatari cash is starkly evident here.
London expect a financial benefit of 100 million pounds from hosting the world track and field championships, but the cost of mounting a bid has not been released.
UK Athletics is hoping to sway officials from the IAAF that they are capable of hosting the world championships, noting that three previous failed attempts were mere glitches and that Britain had a new political will for big events on the back of the London 2012 Olympics.
The Olympic Stadium, complete amid an almost finished Olympic Park, will be an impressive showcase when athletics officials arrive in October for an inspection, with a decision made in November.
But in the Middle East, million dollar life size working prototypes, a stunning Aspire Centre for Sports Excellence – which has indoor facilities for 13 sports and 200 athletes under a modern high-spec building and the Qatari royal family's commitment to putting sport at the forefront of the country's fast growing development are persuasive arguments for voting officials.
It is easy to see how the Fifa voting delegates were wooed by the money-is-no-object finishing touches and athletics officials are likely to be similarly impressed.
Abdullah al-Zaini, President of the Qatar Association of Athletics Federation (QAAF) said this Friday's opening Samsung Diamond League meeting in Doha will be sold out and also present a strong message to the IAAF ''we are ready to host the world championship in 2017''.
The Qataris plan to revamp Khalifa, a 50,000 seat football stadium, to accommodate a new running track with retractable seating so that it can then be converted to host one of the semifinal Fifa world cup matches. This comes as the future of the athletics track at the Olympic Park continues to be questioned.
The Olympic Park Legacy Company is facing difficulties in signing West Ham as its leasee because of legal action taken by the football club Leyton Orient. But there are no problems about legacy or breaking of promises, or legal dramas here.
Just outside of Doha, officials have built a 500 seat stadium prototype in just four and a half months to illustrate their sustainable, carbon free air conditioning system.
The system uses a solar panel ''farm'' to superheat water to nearly 200 degrees Celsius and then chills it by chemical reaction with lithium bromide to a cool six degrees.
This cooled water is then pumped through pipes under the stadium seating and through ducts around the playing arena to cool the stadium.
''The concept of using air-conditioned stadiums in Doha is not new, we already have an air-conditioned stadium here, but using efficient and sustainable ways of cooling the stadium is new,'' the technical project manager of the air cooling prototype Dario Cadavid said.
''When the Fifa inspection team was here it was 42 degrees, but sitting in this uncovered pitch (prototype) was 23 degrees. This technology is scaleable so the bigger it gets, say a 90,000 seat stadium, the more efficient it is.''
On Saturday night at the World Conference on Sport and the Environment, the IOC president Jacques Rogge awarded Qatari heir apparent His
Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al Thani an environmental award for the country's efforts in using the sustainable air conditioning solutions.