The 17th IAAF World Athletics Championships kicked off today in Doha.
The Championships will run until October 6, with 24 different events for male and female athletes.
There’s been some controversy in the lead up to the Championships, with low ticket sales worry and the high and humid temperatures of Doha another concern.
Temperatures in this middle eastern state of Qatar typically reach 30-40°C at this time of year, but Qatari officials have fitted state of the art air cooling technology inside Doha’s refurbished Khalifa Stadium.
Marathon runners and race walkers like Team GB’s Charlotte Purdue will not be able to enjoy the effects of the cooling system because these races have been scheduled for the evening, when temperatures are lower, but the heat and humidity will still be a huge challenge for the athletes.
Purdue, who is part of the 73-strong team, will be running in the marathon and has had to take special measures in her preparation for the Championships.
She has been using the St Mary’s University physiology laboratory in Twickenham, where the science team recreated the heat and humidity for her, so she could train in similar conditions to those outside the stadiums in Doha.
Purdue is one of many athletes on the team who have foundations in the south west London area.
The 34-year-old from Merton is competing in the 4x400m relay and trains with the Hercules Wimbledon Athletics Club.
He made his international debut at the 2017 European Team Championships, winning gold in the 400 metres and has a 4x400m split personal best (PB) of 44.10s.
Clarke is competing in the 3000m steeplechase and trains with the Epsom and Ewell Harriers Running Club.
The 27-year-old represented Britain in the 2017 World Championships and has a 3000 metres steeplechase outdoor PB of 9:36.75 from 2017.
She tweeted yesterday:
🇬🇧 2019 WORLD CHAMPS 🇬🇧— Rosie Clarke (@RosieClarke1) September 26, 2019
Tomorrow I race in the 3rd 3000m steeplechase heat, tune in for runnings & more of my massive cheesy grin 😂
🏃♀️ 3000m steeplechase
⏰ 19:25 (5:25 UK)
.#greatbritain #iaafworldchampionships #athletics #steeplechase @BritAthletics @IAAFDoha2019 pic.twitter.com/UalM3goCNI
The 32-year-old Croydon resident trains with Croydon Harriers athletics club and will be competing in the 4x400m relay.
Rooney holds a PB for the 400m of 44.45 seconds, which he ran in the Beijing Athletics Championships 2015.
This highly decorated runner holds 4 gold medals, 6 silver and 6 Bronze.
The 31-year-old from Carshalton was named the BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year 2005 and the IAAF’s Rising Star of the Year after becoming the first athlete to win gold medals at both 100 metres and 200 metres at the World Youth Championships.
He trains with Sutton & District Athletics Club and will be running in the Men’s 4x100m relay.
He has a 100 metre personal best of 10.08s from July 2013 and holds 3 gold medals, 1 silver medal and 4 bronze medals for 4x100m relay running.
The 21-year-old of Sutton & District Athletics Club will be running in the Women’s 4x100m relay.
She has a 100 metre personal best of 11.09 secs, which ranks her fourth on the UK all-time list.
Imani had a very successful and eye-catching junior career from 2015 – 2017, which led to early success in her senior career, winning gold in the 4×100 relay in the London Athletics World Cup and the Berlin European Championships.
Imani tweeted on September 23:
Really wanted to write a cool caption but – ahhh I’ve always wanted a REAL GB hero shot eeeek!🙈😂 Sooo excited for my first World Championships. Just want to do my family proud out there. ♥️ #5days pic.twitter.com/3GGX4bZdXP— Imani-Lara Lansiquot (@ImaniLara) September 23, 2019
Although Dina-Asher Smith, Laura Muir and Katarina Johnson-Thompson are seen as GB’s great hopes in these Championships, we will be keeping an especially keen eye on the progress of our south west Londoners.
Feature image credit: Rega Photography