Doha, Qatar
Friday 10th May 2013
After a quick pit stop back home, I returned to Asia on Tuesday to cover the Diamond League athletics meet, taking place in Doha tonight.  After leaving my consultancy role with UK Athletics at the end of March, I had asked to stay involved with the organisation on an event cover basis & was delighted when they accepted my proposal.  This is my first such event & I was looking forward to being involved in track & field once more.

Amongst the athletes from Team GB that are competing in the opening Diamond League of the season are Chrissy (Ohuruogu), Robbie (Grabarz), Jack (Green), Shara (Proctor) & Andrew (Osagie).  Over the past couple of years I have experienced some incredible camps, followed by some eventful nights in their company & so I was looking forward to catching up with them to see how pre-season training has been going.  Needless to say, it's been a great couple of days.  I've also enjoyed renewing old friendships over meal times with the agents, managers & media people that I have spent quality time with on the circuit.

Yesterday morning, I was also fortunate enough to meet up with my old UK Athletics colleagues, Dr Paul Dijkstra & Pierre McCourt in their new working environment, Aspetar.  Aspetar is the sports medicine facility that partners the Aspire Sports Academy & if you ever get the opportunity to visit, jump at the chance.  

I was initially given the guided tour by Michael Saretsky, a senior physiotherapist that has been working at the hospital for seven years & is instrumental in developing the learning environment for the therapy staff.  The facilities are very good, however, the building is currently somewhat of a construction site as they are extending on both sides, with the plans suggesting that the very good is soon to become phenomenal.  The staff were extremely welcoming & I look forward to keeping the relationship open in the coming weeks & months, as the discussions were very insightful.

Paul then showed me around the rest of the site & throughout the whole tour, the smile never left his face.  He works alongside well respected clinicians & researchers on a daily basis, with Professor Roald Bahr & Dr Robbart van Lintschoten calling Aspetar their office,  whilst only last week, Chairman of the IAAF Medical & Anti-Doping Commission, Dr Juan Alonso has also relocated to the Emirate.  The medical fraternity share their staff room & participate in regular education sessions together, which can only be a fantastically stimulating environment in which to ply your trade.

The hospital, just like everything else I have seen to date in Qatar, has been very impressive.  To find out more information, click on the link below.

Thanks to Mike, Paul & Pierre for showing me around & now I need to pack my bags in readiness to leave the hotel for the track.

To find out the start lists & results for tonight's athletics, click on the link below.

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