This weekend are the Asian Athletics Championships which are doubling as a dry run for the 2019 World Championships in Doha, Qatar. Leading into worlds, there have been many worries about Qatar’s climate and its inhospitality for endurance events due to extreme heat.

RELATED: The World Championship marathon will be held at midnight

Due to the environment in Doha, the event which usually takes place is August has been moved to October, and the marathon will be run in the middle of the night. Another measure that the organizing committee put into place was to install an air-cooling system in the stadium. Bob Ramsak, an IAAF reporter, tweeted on Sunday that the system is working extremely well. It’s also the most intense air conditioning unit we’ve ever seen.

Ramsak writes, “It’s bordering on the insane how well the air-cooling system is working in the stadium. It’s a parallel universe away from what’s outside of the walls. The ground level blowers will be turned off during competition so they won’t have any impact on wind conditions.” Today in Doha the temperature reached 32 degrees celsius.

Despite the state-of-the-art stadium and quality air conditioning unit, the stands appear to have been empty for Sunday’s session. In any picture on Twitter, athletes are pictured in front of vacant chairs. Hopefully the turn out for the upcoming world championship will be significantly larger.

Scenes from the event:

 

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