September 30, 2019 / 2:58 PM / 16 days ago

Athletics-World championship organisers say attendances "below expectations"

DOHA, Sept 30 (Reuters) - Attendance at the world athletics championship on Sunday was “below expectations”, organisers said on Monday as they blamed late event times and the start of the working week for a lack of fans at the event.

Sunday’s races, including the women’s 100 metres final, took place in front of only a couple of thousand fans and the Khalifa stadium was barely more than half full even for the men’s 100 metres final on Saturday, leading to criticism from athletes.

“After two solid days of attendance, numbers were down on our expectations on Day 3 (Sunday), which coincided with the start of the working week in Qatar,” said the local organising committee in a statement.

“The challenge we face with a competition schedule that is geared to support global TV viewership, is that some finals are not starting until the late evening,” it added. “This impacts on the number of spectators remaining until the end of the session.” (Writing by Brian Homewood; editing by Clare Fallon)

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