Posted on May 29, 2018

The Sport Science Program (SSP) at Qatar University College of Arts and Sciences (QU-CAS) recently organized a symposium titled “The Doha IAAF World Championships in 2019: interdisciplinary perspectives”.

The event brought together experts from Aspetar, Aspire Academy, and the Anti-Doping Lab Qatar, as well as athletes from Qatar Athletics Federation: Qatar’s Ambassador of the Doha IAAF World Championships, sprinter and multiple national record-holder Ms. Mariam Farid; Head of Sports Physiology at Aspire Academy for Sports Excellence Prof. Marco Cardinale; Doping Analysis Lab Director at the Anti-doping Lab Qatar Dr. Costas Georgakopoulos; Head of Biomechanics at Aspire Academy for Sports Excellence Dr. Philip Graham-Smith; and Head of Research Operations within the Athlete Health and Performance Research Centre at Aspetar Dr. Lee Taylor.

Ms. Mariam Farid spoke about how hosting the World Championships in the Middle East for the first time will break down barriers, particularly for Arab females. She showed what it meant to her and the State of Qatar to host this event, and how she can inspire other young females in Qatar to take up sport. Prof. Marco Cardinale discussed how sport science can be used to successfully prepare athletes for these championships. He shared his experience of the organization and management of international events, and where technology can play a role.

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Dr. Costas Georgakopoulos discussed the anti-doping environment and procedures that will be used throughout the event and by the WADA. Dr. Philip Graham-Smith shared his experience of working with elite jumpers, and demonstrated what would be needed to break the world records for high jump, long jump, and triple jump in Doha 2019. Dr. Lee Taylor discussed the challenges that the marathon and race walk athletes will face even with a midnight marathon, and which strategies can be used prior to and during the event to attenuate any performance decrements and avoid any medical events.  

Commenting on the event, CAS Sport Science Program Director Dr. Mahfoud Amara said: “The symposium is part of CAS strategy to promote interdisciplinary research within QU and to reach out to key stakeholders and policy makers in different sectors. It also aims to foster dialogue and knowledge sharing among academics, practitioners, instructors, coaches, and athletes, as well as to generate a set of policy recommendations on key aspects related to Qatar’s strategy to hosting international sport events and elite sport development.”

Exercise Physiologist at CAS Sport Science Program and the event’s coordinator Dr. Bryna Chrismas said: “This symposium focuses on the interdisciplinary aspects of hosting the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships in Doha in 2019. It is a great opportunity to discuss the benefits and opportunities for the State of Qatar to host this prestigious event in the Middle East for the first time.”