CT delivers for IAAF athletics championships
Thursday, 7 November 2019
award-ceremonyThe 17th edition of the event took place at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha
Qatar - The IAAF World Athletics Championships took place in the Middle East for the first time since the inaugural event in 1983. The 10-day competition saw nearly 2000 athletes from 209 countries compete. The 17th edition of the event took place at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha.
For 2019 a multitude of technical innovations were introduced to the event including light shows, new camera angles and increased engagement with athletes. Florian Weber, IAAF event presentation manager, was responsible for the athletics presentation concept and challenged Creative Technology (CT) to deliver.
In order to successfully deliver the track projection, it was essential that the stadium was dark which required the sports lighting to be switched off. Naturally, switching the stadium lights off during a televised stadium sports show is not something Broadcasters are comfortable with, so Florian Weber commissioned CT to deliver a VR model of the Khalifa Stadium featuring athletics apparatus, production overlay and the proposed LED screens and track projection.
CT supplied over 500sqm of its recently delivered curveable 4.8mm LED screens providing a high-resolution, high brightness, high quality solution to display all the sports presentation content including event information, live video feeds, athlete information, and live results.
CT also supplied eight mobile battery-powered LED Monoliths that could be positioned anywhere around the athletics arena displaying live data for athletes’ names and country flags.
Lighting enhanced the overall entertainment and draw focus to areas such as the athletes’ entrances and medal ceremonies. CT supplied over 80 lighting fixtures which consisted of a mixture of Robe BMFL Blades, Claypaky B-Eye K15 and Claypaky Sharpy Plus fixtures.
Arguably the most impressive and talked about innovation at the Championships this year was the track projection. CT used over 100 21K and 31k laser projectors to project custom content across the entire running track – bringing it to life during the finals.
The creative team, headed up by Florian Weber, consisted of Rob Currie and Nick Clark-Lowes who worked closely with the CT team, led by project manager Matt Hartfree
CT provided cameras and switching to ensure a seamless delivery of the sports presentation content for the stadium LED screens which included: EVS playback, custom graphics, real-time edit and playback for production highlights.
The stadium control system based around two Barco Encore switchers controlled the content to every display, eight Watchout media servers providing 32 HD outputs provided the content playback to the LED. The projection mapping and content playback was handled by six Photon media servers.
The event presentation system was built around a Riedel artist 128 matrix and featured 16 comms panels, 12 ways of Riedel C3 belt-packs. Also managed through the artist matrix were 20 Bolero wireless belt-packs for the floor management team and four CCP-1116 commentary units. As a backup the event presentation system CT supplied 50 duplex hand portable radios.
For the broadcast rights holders CT provided 150 hand portable radios with 18 duplex talkback channels linked from the stadium via an audio over fibre solution.
Doha 2019 saw the debut of the first midnight marathon taking place along Doha’s corniche with the iconic skyline as a backdrop. CT was contracted to supply video and audio solutions for the marathon and walks along the corniche with further audio and comms for the spectator grandstands. CT was also responsible for distributing all live signals and content to the LED screens that ran along the finish line.
Irum Ashraf, CT’s Middle East general manager reports, “Our local office fully supported the wider Creative Technology team with both human and technical resources. Having been part of several athletic meetings held in Doha over the last year, CT’s local office played a pivotal role in providing knowledge of the local market, which helped with our successful delivery. It’s a very exciting time for Sport in Qatar right now and having a base here puts us in a prime position to be involved in such great events in the future.”
(Jim Evans)

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