As calendars open to mark the start of a new year, the countdown to the IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019 begins in earnest.
The World Athletics Championships is one of three World Athletics Series events set for this year. The IAAF World Cross Country Championships Aarhus 2019 will be held on 30 March and six weeks later, on 11-12 May, Japan will host the IAAF World Relays Yokohama 2019.
The 10-day championships, which will run from 27 September until 6 October, will bring together about 2000 athletes from more than 200 teams, making it one of the biggest global sporting events of the year.
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Tickets for the World Athletics Championships went on sale in November with strong sales recorded in Germany, UK, USA and Australia.
The Doha 2019 Organising Committee will announce in February details of special fan travel and accommodation packages. They will also unveil their mascot, begin a schools programme and launch their volunteer programme.
Before hosting the World Athletics Championships, Khalifa Stadium in Doha's Aspire Park will stage the IAAF Diamond League meeting in May and the Asian Championships in April, which will be the official test event for the World Athletics Championships.
As preparations step up a gear, the Doha 2019 Organising Committee has appointed Pierce O'Callaghan as Director of Readiness to oversee and monitor overall planning and readiness and ensure the effective implementation of the key milestones between the IAAF and the Local Organising Committee for the World Athletics Championships.
O'Callaghan, who was director of operations for the IAAF World Championships London 2017, takes up his position this month and will spend time in both Doha and Monaco to ensure the successful delivery of the IAAF's flagship event.
"We are delighted that Pierce has accepted this critical position in our operational planning," said Vice Chairman and Director General of the Local Organising Committee and IAAF Vice President Dahlan Al Hamad.
"His experience in planning and delivering operational elements of major sports events, including the IAAF World Championships London 2017, will be invaluable to both the local organising committee and the IAAF as we move from planning to delivering the best ever IAAF World Championships. My team and I are looking forward to working with him."
It is the first time the World Athletics Championships has been held in the Middle East and the fifth time the event has been held on Asian soil. The world's best athletes will be back in Asia just 10 months later when they gather in Japan for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Throughout the year of 2019, the world's leading athletes will compete in various annual series such as the IAAF Diamond League, the IAAF World Challenge, the IAAF World Indoor Tour, IAAF Label road races, the IAAF Combined Events Challenge, the IAAF Hammer Throw Challenge, the IAAF Race Walking Challenge and IAAF Cross Country Permit meetings.
Factoring in various area championships across a range of age groups and surfaces, 2019 is set to be a busy and enthralling year for the sport.
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