Bengaluru/Doha, April 17: The stage is set for the 23rd Asian Athletics Championships to be held at Doha's Khalifa International Stadium from April 21-24.
The continental competition will also serve as an official test event for the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Athletics Championships to be held at the same venue from September 28 to October 6.
Nearly 700 athletes from 43 Asian countries will vie for top honours in the four-day event.
The participating athletes will compete for 186 medals in 21 events each in both men's and women's categories, and a mixed relay event that makes its debut in the competition.
"With the beginning of 23rd Asian Athletics Championships, Doha will continue to showcase its legacy in athletics through the world-class facilities and demonstrate its readiness to host the IAAF World Athletics Championships in September for the first time ever in the Middle East," said Local Organising Committee (LOC) chairman Dahlan Al Hamad, while addressing a press conference in Doha.
Being an official test event, the LOC will test all major operations, including the venue, accreditation and ticketing to ensure a smooth and spotless experience during the global showpiece in just a little over five months.
"We'll be trialling our facilities, security, operations, accreditation, volunteers, and ticketing ahead of the IAAF World Athletics Championships when we greet 3,500 athletes and officials from more than 200 nations as well as more than 10,000 international guests," added Al Hamad, who heads the Asian Athletics Association, and is also one of the vice-presidents of IAAF.