Agence France Presse
Published — Friday 16 November 2012
Last update 15 November 2012 11:10 pm
DOHA, Nov 15, 2012 Agence France Presse: Doha will make a fresh bid to bring the Olympics to the Middle East for the first time in 2024, having missed out on the 2020 Games.
Gas-rich Qatar, named as surprise host for the 2022 football World Cup, failed to make the short-list for the 2020 Games, leaving Madrid, Tokyo and Istanbul in the running as the leading candidates.
But that has not deterred the country’s leaders, with Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, general secretary of the Qatar Olympic Committee (QOC), announcing on Thursday the results of the Qatar Sports Venue Master Plan.
The plan is a two-year audit of the country’s 62 existing sports venues for usability and proposed 11 new ones, in addition to eight venues originally planned by the QOC.
“Our focus since the beginning of this project has been legacy and ensuring that we avoid white elephants,” Sheikh Saoud said.
“We have watched countries build large venues and struggle later with what to do with them; and our team has worked backwards, thinking first about how these venues can be of use in the future before planning their use during major sporting events.”
Abdul Rahman Al-Malki, director of engineering at QOC, added that “the plan was put into place with the Olympics 2024 in mind.”
Qatar ranked high in terms of technical ability in its bid for the 2020 Games, and also offered a degree of certainty in uncertain economic times.
But it has one insurmountable problem that hampers any bid — the harsh climate.
Temperatures in the Gulf country can soar to a blistering 45 degrees Celsius (113F) in July and August when the Games are usually held.
The IOC granted Doha’s bid the rare exception to possibly host the Games in October and November, when the weather is cooler.