'Track Town USA' loses to Qatar in bid for 2019 championships

Eugene, Ore., loses its bid for the 2019 world track and field championships to Doha, Qatar

Runners call the Oregon city "Track Town USA."

But for all its heritage and mystique, Eugene could not manage to bring the track-and-field world championships to the U.S. for the first time ever.

International officials announced Tuesday that Doha, Qatar, won a close vote to host the 2019 meet.

"I am sure that in Doha we will have a wonderful edition of the world championships," said Lamine Diack, president of the IAAF. "I am convinced they are committed through sport to developing their country and their community, and they are doing the right things."

Qatar was an unusual choice if only because of the controversy surrounding the country's selection as host for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Doha representatives had challenged the IAAF to make history by selecting an Arabic country for the first time since the outdoor track championships were established in 1983. They will hold the event in late September to avoid the brunt of the summer heat.

"I'm confident that with the support of the IAAF we will organize one of the best world championships," said Sheikh Saoud Bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, the Doha bid leader.

Barcelona was also in the running but fell to the side in early voting. Eugene lost in a 15-12 final vote.

With two major sporting events already in hand, Qatar is rumored to be considering a run at the 2024 Summer Olympics.

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