21 Feb 2012

Qatar to bid for Olympics

5:29 pm on 21 February 2012

Qatar is to bid for the 2020 Olympics, saying they'll hold the event in October to avoid the Gulf Arab state's searing summer heat.

Details of the bid show that Doha would like to stage the Olympics from October 2nd to 18th ensuring ideal conditions for athletes and spectators.

Qatar, which will host the 2022 football World Cup, has tried to quell fears about summer temperatures that can soar to 50 degrees Celsius by promising air-conditioned stadiums. But many still call for the event to be held in winter.

Qatar Olympic Committee General Secretary Sheik Saoud bin Abdulrahman Al Thani says October in Doha is not like July and August and he doesn't think heat will be an issue.

Qatar officials also said they will send female athletes to the Olympics for the first time. The IOC has offered Qatar wildcard invitations for two female athletes to compete in London, swimmer Nada Arkaji and sprinter Noor al-Malki, Al Thani said, adding that the number could rise to four.

Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Brunei have never sent women athletes to an Olympics.