Qatar unveils falcon Falah as world championship mascot

Doha - An "aspirational" falcon called Falah, who is also "competitive and courageous", was officially unveiled as the World Athletics Championships' mascot on Tuesday, which will take place in Qatar this year.

"The falcon, to us in Qatar and to all the Arab countries, it means a lot," said Dahlan al-Hamad, president of the Qatar Athletics Federation and vice-president of the IAAF. 

"The falcon represents the speed, represents the vision, represents the hunting of the target to be in the front."

Hamad added that everything was "on schedule" for the championships, the first ever to be held in the Middle East, and which start on September 28.

Falah was revealed by championship organisers during Qatar National Sports Day, an annual public holiday in the Gulf state used to encourage people to take up an activity.

During several sporting events which took place in Doha on Tuesday, FIFA president Gianni Infantino played football with Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani at the country's expensive sports' training centre, the Aspire Academy.

Sheikha Asma bint Thani al-Thani of the Qatar Olympic Committee said the unveiling of the mascot and approach of the championships was "very, very exciting".

"Falah in Arabic means he who aspires, or she who aspires to achieve their best in everything that they do," she said.