Sunday 21 January 2018
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Doha welcomes the stars of tomorrow at the 1st Asian Youth Athletics Championships

Asia’s finest youth athletes, the continent’s hottest prospects who could lead Asian athletics to a new blooming era, will soon take the spotlight in their first chapter towards a promising international career. 

Doha is ready to play host to the inaugural Asian Athletics competition for Youths and to welcome – as calculated up till now- more than 400 athletes and additionally more than 170 officials, coaches and medical staff from 40 countries –still 5 countries whose data have to be verified- for four days of action, starting on May 8, at the Qatar Sports Club stadium.

“We are proud to host yet another significant sporting event in Qatar. We have done whatever it takes to ensure that the 1st Asian Youth Athletics Championships will be successful and will pave the way for the development of Sport, especially for the young generation,” said the newly re-elected President of the Asian Athletics Association (AAA) General Dahlan Al Hamad at a press conference held in Doha on April 28.

One of the President’s main aspirations and concerns since he was first elected to the helm of AAA in 2013 was to do everything that is required to further enhance the development of Athletics from its grassroots not only in Qatar, but in the wider Asian continent.

“Our strategic approach is to boost Athletics and explore ways to encourage the youth in participating in sporting activities all across Asia. Our focus is on the long-term planning and the development of Sport.

“We have worked hard, hand in hand with our trusted partners at IAAF and the National Athletics Federations in order to deliver an exciting first edition of the Asian Youth Athletics Championships,” cited General Al Hamad.

Global Youth competitions in athletics have started only recently, although at regional level the Americans are considered the pioneers with the first ever South America Youth Championships held in 1973. Central America joined in 1975 with a joint-event along with Juniors. Oceania followed in 1993, Africa came next only recently in 2013, while Europe will start the series next year in Tbilisi, Georgia.


IAAF introduced the World Youth Championships in 1999 and thus far the pinnacle global competition for Youths has only been staged in Europe, Africa and America. 13 Asian nations have won 117 medals (39 gold – 40 silver – 38 bronze), with China being the most successful among Asians with 22-17-8. Qatar is ranked second with 4-4-2. Furthermore, Asian athletes from eight different countries won at least one medal at the 2010 and 2014 Youth Olympic Games, held both in Asia (Singapore and Nanjing). The Chinese even topped the medal standings in 2014 with six gold and a bronze. In all Asians seized 10 gold, 14 silver and seven bronze medals at both Games.

To no one’s surprise China will send the largest contingent to Doha for the 1st Asian Youth Athletics Championships, with 48 athletes and 15 officials. Oman features the second largest delegation with 30 athletes, ahead of India (26), Kazakhstan (25) and hosting nation Qatar (19).

The Championships will commence on Friday 8 May at 8 o’clock in the morning with the Boy’s Decathlon 100m, but will officially kick-off later that day at 17:30 with the opening ceremony. All disciplines, including the walking events, will be staged at the Suhaim Bin Hamad Stadium, the home venue of Qatar Sports Club. Only athletes born in 1998 and 1999 are eligible to compete. Every athlete may enter up to two individual events plus the relay and each country may register up to two athletes per event. Only the host nation holds the right to take part with a third athlete per discipline.  

President Dahlan is convinced the 1st Asian Youth Championships, held only a week ahead of the IAAF Diamond League Doha 2015 in the same venue, will be a benchmark event for the development of athletics in Asia and sends an invitation to all Doha residents to embrace the initiative and boost the efforts of the young athletes with their presence and voice of encouragement: 

“It is an honour and privilege, as President of the Asian Athletics Association, to fully embrace our motto: “Together moving forward”. In a few days’ time, young athletes from 35 countries from all across Asia will compete right here in Doha. I invite all friends of Sport to come to the Stadium from May 8 to 11, cheer for the athletes participating and see the stars of tomorrow making their first steps towards sporting excellence.”

Apart for the medal ceremony for the top three finishers per event, a diploma will be handed to athletes ranked in places 4-8. 


Candidatures for the election of the AAA Council


Singapore, 20 April- Candidatures for the election of the Asian Athletics Association Council for the term 2015-2019 has been finalised. Asian Athletics Association member federation’s delegates will gather in the lake city, Wuhan in China on 1st June prior to the start of the 21st Asian Athletics Championship to choose 17 membered Asian Athletics Council.  

Congress is convened biannually and this year it will be held at Wuhan Conference Centre in Wuhan (China).  

Congress shall also appoint members on various committees such as a) Technical Committee, (b) Women’s Committee, (c) Medical Committee, (d) Coaching Committee, (e) Cross Country & Road Running Committee and (f) Race Walking Committee. Each Committee will have 5 members.

View list of candidates for the election of AAA Council and Committees.


21st Asian Athletics Championship site visit

Wuhan, 17 April: Dahlan Al-Hamad, President of AAA along with the members of Chinese Athletics Association (CAA) and LOC members of 21st Asian Athletics Championship today reviewed the arrangement of the AAA Congress and Competition venue in Wuhan, China. 

21st Asian Athletics Championship will be held at 55000 capacity, Wuhan Sports Centre Stadium from June 3-7, 2015. It will be the largest gathering of best athletes from all over Asia vying for the top honours. 

Asian Athletics Association member federations are set to elect new AAA Council for the period of 2015-2019 through the election taking place during the AAA Congress. Historic Wuhan Conference Centre will host AAA Election and Congress on 1st June 2015. 

President Dahlan Al-Hamad also took stock of the accommodation and training facilities for the athletes, coaches and officials. LOC has set up Championship office with 11 departments including General administration, marketing and publicity, competition, venue logistic, reception, conference service, International liaison, security, medical, finance, volunteers and legal affairs department.

“I am impressed with the passion and dedication of the LOC members towards preparation of the 21st Asian Athletics Championship.  I am sure Athletes of Asia will not be disappointed when they visit this beautiful city in June” said Dahlan Al-Hamad.  

LOC presented updated flow map of the venue with arrangement of field of play.  LOC will start selling tickets at affordable rates in May. CCTV5 and Hubei TV will broadcast daily highlights of the championship. 

Watch Panoramic view of the Championship Stadium 


21st Asian Athletics Championships 2015 – Mascot “Chubao” and Emblem launched

Wuhan, 18 April- Organising Committee of the 21st Asian Athletics Championships 2015 today (18 Apr) chose “Chubao” mascot after scrutinising hundreds of design received in the past 4 months of public contest for design.

Dahlan Al-Hamad, AAA President, Zhaocai DU, Senior Vice President of AAA and General Secretary of CAA, Mr. Zhang Jin, Deputy director of Hubei Provincial Sports Bureau, Mr. Wang Qihua, Chairman of the Board of Wuhan Sports Center Development Co., Ltd. and Technical Delegates of the championship were present in the press conference held at Marco Polo hotel in Wuhan to announce the launch of the Championship. 

The mascot for the Wuhan Asian Athletic Championships, named “ Chubao”, was unveiled in the press conference. It is based on the local rare bird of white stork and incorporated with creative elements of cartoon characters and objects, Chubao was a minimalist and unique mascot that epitomizes youth, innocence, loveliness and hard work.

The Logo of the championships stars of triumph that resembles an athlete running across the finish line and a symbol of athletic spirit of perseverance and aiming for the best. “Cheer For China, Applaud Asian Athletics”, “Asian Athletics shine in Wuhan” are its slogan to inspires all participating athletes to challenge themselves and break the limits.

More than 800 athletes from 45 Asian countries are expected to take part in the championship starting from June 3 at Wuhan Sports Centre. Host China has confirmed participation of its elite athletes Zhang Peimang and Xie Wenjun. Winners of the 42 events will get direct entry in the IAAF Beijing World Championship in Athletics 2015.

Dahlan Al-Hamad, President of Asian Athletics Association announced special contribution award for the Chinese hurdler Liu Xiang, in recognition of his prominent contribution to the promotion of Asian Athletics. 


China's 2004 Olympic 110m hurdles champion Liu Xiang announced retirement

Asia's biggest star athlete Liu Xiang of China officially announced his retirement ( Tuesday, 7th may) from professional athletics. The injury-plagued Athens 2004 Olympic gold medal winner said he had "no choice" but to bring down the curtain on his trailblazing career.

Liu made World to take notice of Asian athletics with his super hurdling. Liu is still an inspiration to thousands of young athletes in Asia and around the World.

Liu became China's first Olympic men’s champion in athletics when he won in Athens, equalling what was then the world record of 12.91.

He then improved the world record to 12.88 in Lausanne, Switzerland, in July 2006 and won the gold medal over the barriers at the 2007 IAAF World Championships.

Liu, one of his nation's highest profile sports stars, is one of the official ambassadors for the IAAF World Championships, Beijing 2015 and will now be spending his time in the next few months helping to promote the championships.

"I'm retiring. I want to start a new journey," Liu said in a message posted to his blog, blaming injury for his decision. Liu hopes now to contribute to Chinese sports development and help increase China's influence within the athletics world.   (IAAF and AFP)

Profile of Liu Xiang