Doha is absolutely amazing, the conditions are great and the track is fast.
The countdown is finally over as the eagerly awaited seventh IPC Athletics World Championships get underway today (Wednesday, 21 October) in Doha, Qatar, with the biggest ever number of athletes set to go for global gold over 10 days of thrilling competition at the city’s Suhaim Bin Hamam stadium.
More than 1,300 athletes from over 90 countries will take part in the 2015 World Championships – the biggest para-sport event ever to be held in the Middle East.
That number marks an increase of over 20 per cent on the number of competitors who lined up at the last World Championships in Lyon, France, two years ago. This time around the number of female athletes has also risen by an impressive 39 per cent.
The Opening Ceremony, attended by His Excellency Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad Al Thani, the President of Qatar Olympic Committee, takes place on Wednesday evening (19.00 hours local time) with the first event – the men’s discus F56 final – kicking off all the track and field action at 09.30 hours on Thursday morning (22 October).
One of the last major competitions ahead of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, this year’s competition will feature 212 medal events as athletes from around the world bid to secure qualification for the Games in less than 12 months’ time.
One athlete hoping to make a great impression in Qatar is US sprinter Richard Browne.
“Doha is absolutely amazing, the conditions are great and the track is fast,” said the reigning world and Paralympic silver medallist.
“It’s very important for me not only to get gold but to break the world record in the 100 metres. I need to run some fast time so that I can validate my gold medal. If I can nail that first 30 metres I’ve been running it really well, I think I can go sub 10.5 seconds.”
A record number of broadcasters – 22 in total - will broadcast the event round the world and all the action will be live streamed on the IPC’s official YouTube channel, Paralympicsport.tv.
Information about the event can be found at www.Doha2015.org, and the IPC Athletics Twitter feed and Facebook page will also provide regular updates on all the action.