Jamaica women speak about 4x100m success #Doha2019
DOHA, QATAR - OCTOBER 05: Natalliah Whyte, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Jonielle Smith and Shericka Jackson of Jamaica celebrate gold in the Women's 4x100 Metres Relay during day nine of 17th IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019 at Khalifa International Stadium on October 05, 2019 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images for IAAF)

The 2019 IAAF World Athletics Championship in Doha, Qatar was an experience many of who went have no regrets. 

The whole hoopla and criticism of putting the event in the Middle East were misplaced, I believe. You hear about the heat, the lateness of the meet, the unfilled stadium, and how corruption is the reason for bringing the event there. I believe a lot of the criticism is all about ignorance, bias and or hypocrisy.

When the event is kept in cold areas, we hear no complaint. Yet there is a problem with the heat because it affects athlete from certain countries disproportionately. One championship had athletes going through vomiting spell and these critics remain silent. As for the late part of the year, I have seen Australia twice host the Olympics. In 1956 it was November 22 through December 8. In 2000 it was held September 15 to October 1. To date, I have never heard of the critics mentioned the lateness of the game as an issue. Are we to believe that if Australia put in an excellent bid for the world championship, they should be automatically be disqualified because of the time of the year?  

The question of the unfilled stadium is easily explained, but of course, the critics could care less. The stadium-filling issue has more to do with the geopolitical situation than anything else. The Saudi Arabia block is blockading Qatar because of Qatar refusal to muzzle Al Jazeera coverage of the Yemen civil war. Then to make a bad situation worse, the bombing of the Saudi oil plant led to Iran being accused. President Trump responded with a tweet stating loaded, lock and ready to attack Iran. The response coming out of Iran did not make things better. Many cancelled their plans to go to Qatar. Can we blame Qatar or the IAAF for this?

As for corruption being the reason for Qatar winning the bid to host the event, I wonder what happens when competing forces seek to host the event. If memory serves me right, the voters are usually hosted by the country trying to win the bid. Are we to believe all these host countries in the past only showed their facilities and infrastructure? I do not know, but if Qatar offered the IAAF significantly more money than the other bidders. If they did, I see nothing wrong with that. The sports need more money to entice talents to stick with athletics instead of other sports. 

Certain countries may feel it is their right of first refusal, so they use the media to justify their anger. Moreover, athletics is not a growing sport in many of the past host countries.

My experience in Qatar was wonderful. For the first time, I experienced the air-conditioned stadium. The place was clean with excellent modern architecture in their construction and most of all, great all-round performances at the game. I wonder why the critics did not focus on the many great performances. The men shot putt, women 400m and 400mh, men pole vault to mention a few.

I hope the next host live up to or better the standard of Doha, Qatar.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author (Robert Taylor) and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, trackalerts.com.


  1. Can someone tell me what does having a “shoddy record” of treating migrant workers have to do with the hosting of an International Sporting event? The Germans hosted the ’36 Olympic Games. The Americans with their shoddy record of racism and bigotry have hosted two Olympic Games and a Football World Cup not to mention countless other International Sporting events, the Brits have a spotty record on human rights to say the least, the Australian Aborigines are victimized and oppressed…but little, if anything is said about these things when they bid or host International sporting events. Why the double standard/

    I was there and I certainly enjoyed the spectacle of the Meet. The events, particularly the field events, were exciting and highly competitive and as one writer has already noted the place was clean and may add quite safe. As for the heat that was no secret and those who went grew to accommodate it after the initial “shock”.

    it may have lacked the usual high turn out of spectators but that was in part due to the geopolitics of the region and the fact that the marquee track events were lacking in competitiveness and of course the absence of Messrs Bolt, Powell and the Jamaican male contingent of previous Championships to challenge the Americans.

  2. Technically, climatic conditions weren’t conducive. We watched as most marathoners pulled out of the races or collapsed after races. If that’s not dangerous I don’t know. Psychologically, full stadium encourages participants: the cheering, the fact that people have left everything to watch the games makes it interesting for everyone globally. For those of us who watch from home, the empty stadium made the whole experience boring and I don’t think the reason was war. Plus Robert Islamic nations have never been interested in such games besides being conservative. Do you think they will go to watch games? Too many restrictions made it difficult to even watch games on YouTube! I know the vomiting spells happened in London and people questioned. Infact London should never host games again until they explain to the world what happened. Many Athletes were affected and couldn’t perform and I don’t even think some have even recovered psychologically. It’s not that people didn’t question. They did. Qatar is a beautiful Country but the too many socio-political restrictions and conservative nature of islamic nations makes not Only Qatar, but UAE and other Islamic nations not too good a place for such meets. Todate you cannot find on YouTube single events if you missed them except those takes by phone. Though London had questionable events (like vomiting spells), but there’s energy, full stadium, very good organization and relaying of games via media is SUPERB. London Marathon is the most classic. You feel the energy. It’s relayed via every possible means using the best technology. That’s what we are saying ROBERT!

  3. Great points Robert. Hot or cold; the nation has no control over temperature. Every nation uses migrant workers for whatever reasons they choose. It is just unfortunate that certain nations have been corrupt for so long that cover up is second nature. Qatar is obviously not one of them. Great games. Qatar did well.

  4. I agree with your points for the most part but don’t discount the fact that Qatar and most of the gulf states do have a shoddy record of how they use migrant workers for their infrastructure develooment.

  5. You are missing the point, host nations may have one of those issues but not ALL of those issues. For example, Australia may host late in the year, but not host late in the year AND be too hot AND not have spectators AND corruption questions.

  6. I was there every night Robert. What a fantastic experience it was. Being from corrupt South Africa, I have no chance of seeing the worlds best perform. Doha did a remarcable job.
    Lets get it clear. Formula one has no interest in a nation which cannot afford to host a GP. Is anybody crying about that? In Doha I see World class FINA events, athletics, MotoGP, Superbikes, World Tennis, Golf, Soccer etc…..
    I agree with you Robert. Lets admire what this tiny country does for its citizens and expats alike. Lets admire the prise money they offer the athletes, lets look at the positive side please.

  7. Is the IAAF proportionately passing on the money the real stars of the games?? No!!! Individual Gold should be at least 80000, relay should be 120000!! Someone is pocketing the millions IAAF pulls in each year.


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