Doha, 9 July 2019 - Excitement for Qatar's biggest ever sporting event is soaring, as Falah the Falcon has flown in to meet fans ahead of the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha this September.
Making his first appearance as the official mascot, Falah met with hundreds of children at Aspire Zone's Summer Camp, posing for photographs and cheering on children as they took part in the sports sessions. The camp has seen youngsters take up athletics in the build–up to the World Championships set to take place at the Khalifa International Stadium 27 September to 6 October.
Falah's job sees him unite communities ahead of the competition which comes to the Middle East for the first time. He will welcome athletes from 213 different countries, as they compete for gold medals in an action-packed schedule which will see 128 events take place over 10 days. The superhero mascot also looks to educate children on the values of being an athlete in Team Qatar including being competitive, courageous, fun, helpful and loyal.
Flying through the country over the next three months, Falah will meet sports enthusiasts and families across a number of venues including sporting camps, malls and coffee shops, spreading the message of athletics and Qatari values across all of Qatar's citizens.
Sheikha Asma Al Thani, Director of Marketing and Communications for the Local Organising Committee, commented: “Falah is the perfect face of the IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019, honouring the traditional falcon while bringing a modern, superhero look to the competition which will see the best athletes in the world bring their superhero powers to Doha.
“Sport is about bringing people together and we feel Falah encompasses this ethos, adding fun to the competition while being popular with fans of all ages. He will be visiting locations across Doha, and I encourage everyone to share their photos on social media to help generate more excitement ahead of what will be a truly memorable sporting event for everyone in Qatar."
On Falah's visit to the camp, Al Anoud Almisnad, Acting Head of Events Section at Aspire Zone, commented: “It was a great opportunity and a nice gesture from the Local Organising Committee of the IAAFDoha2019 to have Falah here today. His visit was important to contribute to educating the children more about the event and encourage them to attend the competitions, support our athletes and enjoy the atmosphere of the Championships which will be held for the very first time in Doha and the Middle East," She added: “We are very proud that Falah has started his tour from our Aspire Dome which saw excitement and energy from the participating children."
Students have enjoyed different activities with Falah who showed some of his signature moves, posing in front of the cameras and waving to children.
Rashid Al Muhannadi, six years old, loved his experience at Aspire, commenting: “No words can describe how happy I was that I joined Falah the Falcon to learn athletics. Falah taught us about the IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019 and we are happy that it will be hosted in our capital, Doha."
Another student, five-year-old Mohammaed Al Nuaimi, said: “I was very happy that I met Falah and that he joined us in our Athletics activities. He encouraged us to exercise every day. He also gave us gifts and invited us to go and watch the IAAF World Athletics Championships 2019 which will be very exciting."
Fans can keep track of Falah's appearances throughout Doha by checking out the latest images using #FollowFalah on social media channels @IAAFDoha2019. News of Falah's upcoming appearances will be also be available via the official social media channels.
Falah will be at the Khalifa International Stadium for the ten-day competition, meeting fans in the World Athletics Village at Khalifa International Stadium, as well as inside the venue.