Bengaluru/Doha, February 13: Falah, an athletic falcon emblazoned in the Qatari flag's maroon colour, was unveiled as the official mascot of the IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019 at a specially-held ceremony on the country's annual National Sports Day.
The second Tuesday of every February is celebrated as Qatar's National Sports Day.
The selection of Falah followed a thorough and detailed process in which a total of 21 sketches were submitted to the Local Organising Committee (LOC) from residents of Qatar before a multi-staged voting process took place to decide the winner.
Young ambassadors aged 8-16 were invited to vote for their favourite designs as Team Qatar's hammer thrower Ashraf Amgad El Seify introduced and explained the sketches to them.
Speaking during the milestone event, Vice Chairman and Director General of the LOC and Vice President of the IAAF, Dahlan Al Hamad, said: "Falah represents the pursuit of excellence and symbolises the importance of always giving your very best in everything you do. These are the values and ambitions of the LOC, as we look to deliver an event that inspires a new generation and welcomes fans from all corners of the world.
However, the most important guests of the event were the 490 children from a diverse range of local and international schools across Doha, who took part in a series of sports related activities to celebrate the launch of Falah.
Team Qatar's 400M runner Mariam Farid and a group of Aspire Academy's promising athletes joined the kids in the fun.
On National Sports Day, an annual public holiday in Qatar, the children participated in different inspiring and educational sports activities, co-ordinated by the IAAF and implemented though the Qatar Athletics Federation and Tsukuba University, who are part of the Tokyo 2020 legacy programme, Sports For Tomorrow.
The University of Tsukunba has cooperated with the IAAF in inspiring young children through sport in this joint programme which started in Rio in 2016 and will conclude in Tokyo in 2020.
Ready for Worlds
The competition will be held from September 27 to October 6 at Khalifa International Stadium.
Doha will be welcoming 2.000 athletes from 213 countries along with approximately 10,000 international guests from around the world.
The third biggest sporting event in the world will be broadcasted to more than 200 countries.
Building on the exciting reveal of Falah, the LOC has confirmed that the world's greatest athletics collection -- the IAAF Heritage World Athletics Championships Exhibition, 1983 to 2019 is coming to Doha from April 18.
The exhibition is poised to give school children and fans alike from the local community a unique chance to see the values of Falah come to life through an unrivalled collection of athletics memorabilia, showcasing the sports greatest ever figures including Sprint kings Jesse Owens, Carl Lewis and Usain Bolt.