Posted on January 11, 2018

Commenting on their participation, Rashed AlQurese, Chief Marketing & Promotion Officer at Qatar Tourism Authority said, “Qatar National Tourism Sector Strategy 2030 identifies sports tourism as one of four key pillars for the development of the tourism sector. As Qatar continues to witness developments in its infrastructure and facilities, it is steadily becoming a preferred destination for some of the world’s leading sports clubs and federations to host training camps, all of which resonates with Qatar’s message of welcoming the world.” He added, “As Sports Tourism Partner, we would like to extend a warm welcome to Sir Mo Farah and all our elite athletes participating in the Ooredoo Doha Marathon 2018. The Marathon takes place at the beginning of the year, allowing us to capitalise on country’s pleasant winter weather as we work to position the Marathon in the calendar of international sports events.”

The media gathering was opened by Sir Mo Farah, 6-time world champion and 4-time Olympic gold medalist, one of the greatest athletes of all time. He commented, “It’s my second time in Qatar. I am looking forward to the race, and its great to be here amongst this line up of stars and be an ambassador for the half marathon which is part of the Ooredoo Doha Marathon.”

Arne Gabius, German Marathon Record Holder, 18 time national champions, past European 10,000m Silver Medallist and Olympian comments "I'm excited to competing at the Ooderoo Doha Marathon; this is my first time visiting Qatar. The half marathon race is a great fit into my overall plans for 2018, since I'm preparing for a spring marathon. It will be great to get a break from training and test my fitness against some of the best athletes in the world. My family is here with me, so I'm even more excited. No doubt we will enjoy the weather and we hope to visit some of the cultural institutes, like the the Museum of Islamic Art."

Quotes gathered from Elite 2 [].jpg

Michael Shelley, the 2014 Commonwealth Games Marathon Champion is one of the favourites for the event. He is using the event, as part of his preparation to defend his commonwealth games title later this year at the Gold Coast event. He commented,  “I am really looking forward to running in Doha as it will give me a great insight as to how my training is going in the lead up to the Commonwealth Games. Also, it will be a great pleasure to discover more about Doha.” 

Abdi Abirahman, one of the world’s top distance runners is a four-time Olympian in the 10,000m and the marathon who in 2016 finished 3rd in the New York City Marathon. He commented, “I’m so happy to open my 2018 season in Qatar. What a great way to start my year in a new place?! Thank you to the organizers for inviting to be part of the half marathon event in the Ooredoo Doha Marathon.”

Gemma Steel who came late to the professional ranks, via an amateur running club background rather than an elite junior pathway, has been training in Doha since December 30th 2017 for the event. Last year, she won the Great Ireland Run, Great South Run, Virgin British 10K and came 6th at the Great North Run. Shed commented, “I am delighted to be competing in the 2018 Ooredoo Doha Marathon. The half marathon event offers a great course, some quality competition and a fantastic location in which to train and race. The facilities are top class and the people of Qatar are very welcoming. The organisation has been great too. I shall run my heart out for you!”

The event can be followed on facebook, Instagram and Twitter on: Facebook: Ooredoo Qatar & VisitQatar; Instagram: OoredooMarathon & VisitQatar; Twitter: OoredooMarathon & VisitQatar; #ooredoomarathon2018  & #VisitQatar