DOHA – Qatari organizers and the ruling athletics body IAAF have brushed aside any concerns about human rights, climate or attendance levels on the eve of Friday's start of the world championships in Doha.
IAAF president Sebastian Coe said he expected "very, very good championships" and highlighted that 1,970 athletes from 208 countries and territories would be fighting for medals until October 6.
Among those sending athletes are the four countries that have imposed a boycott on Qatar since 2017: Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Yemen and the United Arab Emirates.
"We have all teams here, which is a good indication of how sports can reach out," Coe told reporters.
Organizing committee vice president Dahlan Al Hamad said: "We don't stop anyone at our door step. We don't mix sports with politics."