Doha’s way of combatting the heat.
IN-STADIUM AIR-CONDITIONING WILL LOWER TEMPERATURES AT DOHA 2019
DOHA is the first venue in the Middle East to hold the IAAF World Championships but it will also be the first to feature a pink track and a cooling system inside the stadium.
It was the latter that received most attention when the Qatari capital celebrated its ‘one year to go’ milestone last week.
Around 3000 cooling machines will pump cold air out into the stands and side of the track in order to bring temperatures from roughly
40C in the day and 30C in the evening down to a more tolerable 25-26C (potentially as low as 21C) for sessions.
The cold air will push the warm air upwards and out of the Khalifa Stadium through a gap in the roof but the system will be turned off temporarily during competitions so that it does not interfere with wind speeds on the track.
IAAF Council member Geoff Gardner said: “I don’t know if the rest of the world really believed this was possible but it’s an amazing system and it shows that our championships can be conducted here in a good environment for athletes.”
The system, which will also be used in various stadia in Qatar for the 2020 FIFA World Cup, is sustainable in that it stores the rainwater that falls on the roof in a huge tank. The water is then cooled, if necessary, and piped back into the stadium to cool the air.
All this will be tested at the Asian Athletics Championships in April, followed by the Diamond League in Doha in May.
World Championships tickets have also been launched, starting from €14 for taster sessions and more expensive seats give spectators the chance to sit in Arab-style cushioned Majlis seating.
As previously reported, the event will also see the first-ever midnight marathon and a first 4x400m mixed relay, while the decathlon and heptathlon will take place on the same days.
IAAF president Seb Coe said: “Qatar has been hosting official IAAF events for over 21 years and we have a trusted partner who is committed to delivering a World Athletics Championships which makes a real difference to the world of athletics. With a year to go it is important the foundations are in place, so the final year can be spent testing facilities, systems and services.”
As for qualification, the system combines IAAF world ranking positions, wild card invitations (such as reigning world champions or Diamond League leaders) and entry standards.
Hurdles star Abderrahman Samba and high jumper Mutaz Essa Barshim will be among the host nation’s top medal hopes – and Samba said: “My heart is already racing, and the adrenaline is pumping just by standing on the track.”
Khalifa International Stadium: will host next year’s IAAF World Championships