World champion decathlete Kevin Mayer has ridiculed the decision to hold the World Athletics Championships in Doha. The prestigious championships started in Qatar’s capital on Friday but there has already been criticism aimed at the decision to pick Doha as the host venue following the women’s marathon.
Related: Feek Backs Carty To Fill Sexton Role
Despite holding the race at midnight, the competitors were still racing in 70 per cent humidity and 28 runners, including Britain’s Charlotte Purdue, were forced to drop out from a field of 68. With the conditions so hot and humid, crowds have also been sparse at the Khalifa International Stadium and Mayer, who is the French world record holder, has branded the championships as a “disaster”.
“We can all see it’s a disaster, there is no-one in the stands, and the heat has not been adapted at all,” he was quoted as saying by BBC Sport. “There have already been nearly 30 withdrawals in the women’s marathon. It’s sad. “We have to leave reason aside and more concentrate on the passion because if not I would have boycotted these championships. We haven’t really prioritised athletes when organising the championships here. It makes it difficult.”