* IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019 gets underway at Khalifa International Stadium on Friday and will run until Oct 6.
*Corniche to be used to stage the marathon; to be closed on Thursday and Friday evening

Qatar is welcoming thousands of fans and competitors for the World Athletics Championships starting Friday, an event seen as a staging post towards the 2022 football World Cup.

The 10-day event, the biggest sporting gala to be hosted by Qatar after the 2006 Asian Games, will see the world’s top-most stars in track and field compete for glory at the Khalifa International Stadium and on the Corniche.

The city's iconic waterfront will be used for the marathon, being staged for the first time at midnight when the temperature will be lower. The route will also host the men's and women's 20km race walks and the mixed 50km race walk.

Construction teams worked around the clock to finish assembling the elaborate scaffold towers that line the route's central reservation and will support floodlights for the midnight marathon.

Preparations for the event have been completed, the head of the Local Organising Committee Dahlan al-Hamad said at a recent sports integrity event in Doha.

"Qatar is 100% ready for the championship - we are very excited," he said.

The Ministry of Interior (MoI) has announced road closures on the Corniche to prepare for and facilitate the marathon and other events, and also highlighted the alternative routes. This has been done through a map published in various languages as well as videos on social media.

The Corniche will be closed from 6pm on Thursday until 5am Friday, and then again from 6pm Friday until 5am on Saturday. The map highlights both the closed parts and the alternative routes. "Motorists are advised to follow the traffic signs and co-operate with the Traffic Police," the MoI tweeted on Wednesday.

The closed sections include the stretch extending from the Sheraton Doha signal right up to the intersection with Grand Hamad Street near Souq Waqif, as well as some adjacent roads along the above-mentioned stretch of the Corniche, as shown on the map (Page- ).

The ministry has also issued a list of prohibited items, advising spectators not to carry them while entering the stadium. These include fireworks, glass bottles, small strollers, sharp tools, pets and other solid objects that may cause harm to the bearer.

Captain Burhan Saleh al-Turki, assistant head of the Security Committee and the director of security at Khalifa International Stadium, said the security procedures applied for the entry of spectators into the stadium are easy but subject to several stages for the safety of all.


Chemical gas spray, firearms, fireworks, any kind of knife, balls, backpack, recording devices, lighters, laser pointer, animals, smoking, luggage, streamers, umbrellas, drones, coolers, drugs, whistles, helmets, masks, cameras with lenses longer than 8 inches, objects making excessive noise, hooters or air horns, and glass bottles, cups or cans.


Coe praises Qatar preparations

Qatar has made available unprecedented facilities to ensure an amazing hosting of the 2019 World Athletics Championships, IAAF president Sebastian Coe has said.

The IAAF president thanked HE Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad al-Thani, President of the Supreme Organising Committee of the IAAF World Athletics Championship (Doha 2019), as well as the working committees for their great efforts to provide all services and facilities to delegates attending from 209 countries, the official QNA reported on Wednesday.

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