Asian Athletics Association Council Meeting begins – IAAF President Lord Coe, QOC Secretary General Dr. Al Kuwari and AAA President Al Hamad officially opened the two-day meeting
Doha, 17 Feb 2016 - International Association of Athletics Federations President Lord Sebastian Coe, Qatar Olympic Committee Secretary General Dr. Thani Abdulrahman Al Kuwari and Asian Athletics Association (AAA) President Major General Dahlan Al Hamad formally opened the AAA Council Meeting at the Wyndham Grand Regency on Wednesday.
The two-day meeting, held in the lead-up to the 7th Asian Indoor Athletics Championships at the Aspire Academy, is expected to make several key decisions pertaining to the future of the sport in the continent.
Lord Coe, addressing the council, gave Doha his vote of confidence in delivering a memorable indoor competition.
“I’m pleased to be here on this very auspicious occasion. It’s no happy accident that Doha is once again organising a continental event. A lot of thought and effort has gone into its organisation and I appreciate the Qatar Athletics Federation for it.
“In just a few months, the international athletics family will be back in the city for the formal launch of the 2016 Diamond League series. I wish everyone the best for the challenges ahead,” he said.
Dr. Thani, in his opening remarks, welcomed the elite Asian athletes back to the country.
“It’s an honour for Doha to be hosting another prestigious athletics championships. We’re looking forward to welcoming everyone back to the venue that six years ago hosted the IAAF World Indoor Championships,” he said.
“Qatar is fully committed to developing athletics at every level. Hosting events like this, as well as our annual Diamond League meeting, help us to showcase the very best of the sport to new audiences and inspire new athletes. We hope that hosting the 2019 IAAF Worlds in Doha will take this to another level. It will be a very proud moment in Qatar’s history to host athletics’ flagship event for the first time in the Middle East,” he added.
Dr. Thani continued by saying he hopes that hosting the Doha 2019 World Championships will leave a lasting legacy across the Middle East.
“It is our aim to use the event to capture the attention of the whole region - connecting more young people to athletics at a grassroots level, empowering more young females to realise their potential and creating more sporting heroes in the years to come. Champion athletes like Mutaz Barshim are already helping young athletes across our country to see that with hard work, anything is possible.” said the top official.
Al Hamad, who also heads the Qatar Athletics Federation, said he was pleased with how the Asian Indoors was shaping up.
“We have always worked hard to bring the best competitions to Qatar. This year, we have a record number of countries and athletes taking part. We’re proud to welcome them to Qatar for a second time. I hope they’ll all do well and set new benchmarks for our sport,” said Dahlan.