Doha has announced its intention to bid for hosting rights to the 2019 World Championships in Athletics, a tournament managed by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).
The Gulf state will compete against Barcelona and US city Eugene (in Oregon) for the honor, according to the IAAF. In a statement on its website, the sport world’s governing body said this week that it has received letters of intent from these three cities, and would make a final decision on the host in November.
A rigorous evaluation process to arrive at the 2019 host is expected to take place over the next several months.
According to the IAAF, the biennial world championships is the third largest sporting event in the world based on the number of participating nations, teams (more than 200), athletes (over 2,000) and television viewership.
The tournament is typically held in August/September, which may prompt questions about Qatar’s summer heat. The weather has been an ongoing concern for the nation, which is hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2022.
That tournament is considered the second largest sporting event in the world. Qatar has also repeatedly bid for the world’s biggest sporting event – the Olympics – but without success. Nonetheless, it has already signaled plans to try again for 2024, as part of efforts to become a sporting destination in the region.
Upcoming hosts of the 2015 and 2017 tournaments are Beijing and London.
Note: This article has been corrected to reflect that the IAAF tournament involves more than 200 teams, not nations.