By Sports Reporter/Doha
The countdown is on: exactly 30 days from today, the maiden edition of the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) World Beach Games, also known as Qatar 2019, will kick off with a spectacular opening ceremony at the Beach side of the Katara – the Cultural Village in Doha.
When ANOC announced Qatar as the new host of the inaugural edition of the ANOC World Beach Games on 14th June 2019, the global sports body was not just naming a host in Qatar but also reiterating what has become a widely acknowledged attribute of this sport-loving country as one that can put up a dazzling first-class global event even at short notices.
Ahead of the Games, ANOC and the host country have launched a series of initiatives in a bid to ensure the competition leaves an enduring legacy.
Qatar Olympic Committee (QOC) Secretary-General Jassim bin Rashid al-Buenain said, “We are happy to start the 30-day countdown to this historical event in Qatar. With the hosting of the World Beach Games Qatar 2019, we are once again demonstrating our readiness to host another world-class event even at short notices. Preparations are in top gear and we can’t wait enough to welcome the world to Doha. We believe Qatar 2019 will set a great benchmark for future events.
A new website (www.awbgqatar.com) which provides, among many other functions, the live streaming of competitions in order to enable fans enjoy live action of the Games from any part of the world was recently launched. The website also includes information about participating countries, venues, provisional competition schedule, news and photo galleries, weather and other relevant information.
ANOC has also unveiled new Instagram (awbg2019) and Twitter (@AWBG2019) specifically dedicated to the Games. Through the social media accounts, fans will have the opportunity of accessing real-time information as well as being a part of the Games through their interaction and participation.
Capturing the spirit of the Games is ‘Dolphy’, the fun-loving mascot who is a jolly fellow and a great swimmer who loves the ocean and the warmth the beach offers.
Dolphy, who loves talking to people and telling them how important it is to keep the water clean, not only for the dolphins, but also for all the other friends in the sea and for the people of Qatar and everywhere.
Commenting on the occasion, Sheikha Asma al-Thani, Director of Marketing and Ceremonies for Qatar 2019, said, “We are happy to unveil Dolphy as the official mascot of the Games. Dolphy fully embodies the spirit of Qatar 2019 as the Games promises to be not just a competition, but an event designed to provide unparalleled entertainments and fun for the entire family. By nature, dolphins exhibit temperaments that are associated with kindness and peace and they are driven to make those around them happy by creating an ambient tranquil atmosphere of peace and acceptance. These attributes resonate well with us in Qatar and we believe all participants will leave here with lasting memories of this historical event and our great hospitality as well.”
Qatar 2019, which will see more than 1,200 athletes competing in 14 disciplines across 13 sports, will take place at venues including Katara Beach, Al Gharafa, Aspire Park and Ritz Carlton Canal and will witness the participation of a total of 97 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) in what promises be a truly global festival of beach, water and action sports.
All five continents will be represented at Qatar 2019 with 17 NOCs qualified from Africa, 19 from Americas, 21 from Asia, 35 from Europe and 5 from Oceania.
The qualification process for the ANOC World Beach Games began in June last year with each sport having a different qualification pathway but the majority of qualification places were drawn from world ranking places or the highest finishing places at World Championships or Continental Championships.
The process was designed to ensure that the best athletes would be competing at the Games.
The featuring sports include aquathlon, 3X3 basketball, climbing bouldering, beach handball, karate kata individual, kitefoil racing, skateboarding, beach soccer, open water 5km swimming, beach tennis, beach volleyball 4X4, waterski, wakeboard and beach wrestling.
As per the schedule, aquathlon, 3X3 basketball, karate kata individual, kitefoil racing, beach soccer, open water 5km swimming, beach tennis and beach wrestling will all take place at Katara Beach while Al Gharafa will be the venue for beach handball and beach volleyball 4X4.
Climbing bouldering and skateboarding, on the other hand, will be hosted at Aspire Park and Ritz-Carlton Canal will take care of the waterski and wakeboard events.
ANOC World Beach Games is scheduled for five days, October 12-16, 2019, with the opening rounds for certain events being held on October 11, 2019.
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