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Stage set for first ANOC World Beach Games Qatar 2019
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Stage set for first ANOC World Beach Games Qatar 2019

Raajiv Tripathi
Doha
After hosting an amazing edition of the World Athletics Championships, the first-ever IAAF flagship event in the Middle East, Qatar is again upbeat and geared up for another global event – the first ANOC World Beach Games.
The ANOC WBG Qatar 2019 will get underway with matches in beach handball at the Al Gharafa Club, and beach football at the Katara Beach on Friday, while the official opening ceremony is scheduled on Saturday at the Katara Cultural Village Amphitheatre at 7.30 pm on Saturday.
More than 1,300 athletes from 97 nations are competing for 350 medals in 13 sports.
The first edition of the ANOC World Beach Games was originally planned in San Diego, the USA, but due to financial problems, the hosting responsibility of the event was given to Qatar three months ago.
Qatar, a world-famed hot spot for hosting global and international sports championships and events, took up the challenge and now the ANOC World Beach Games are ready to kick-off on the morrow, showcasing the country’s remarkable organising capabilities and ready-to-deliver infrastructure.
Qatar Olympic Committee Secretary-General Jassim Rashid al Buenain, who is also the Vice-Chairman of the Local Organising Committee, said at the official pre-event press conference that Qatar was determined to stage an exception ANOC World Beach Games 2019.
Also present on occasion were ANOC Secretary-General Gunilla Lindberg, LOC members Khaleel al Jabir and Ali Ghanim al Kuwari.
Buenain said, “Qatar is known to have holding world-class sporting events because of the wise leadership and support starting with the Amir His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al Thani and His Excellency Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad al Thani, the President of the Qatar Olympic Committee and the LOC.
“Only three months ago, the decision was taken to hold the massive ANOC World Beach Games 2019 in Qatar. This event is coming soon after an amazing edition of the IAAF World Athletics Championships that we hosted at the Khalifa International Stadium. All the preparations have been done and we are confident to organise an exceptional edition of the ANOC World Beach Games here.”
“After these games, we’ll stage the Asian qualifiers for the Tokyo Olympic Games handball this month, the Asian Shooting Championships in November and the FIFA Clubs World Cup in December. The major sporting events are the parts of our 2030 Vision, besides inspiring a new generation of the Qatari youth,” he added.
The QOC secretary-general also thanked all government organisations and private companies for their sponsorships and contributions towards making this event a reality.
Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) Secretary-General Lindberg said, “We’d like to express our thanks to the Emir His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al Thani, the State of Qatar and everyone at the Qatar Olympic Committee for their warm hospitality. In just three months, they have achieved a huge amount of progress and we’ve no doubts that this will be a fantastic event.
“We have athletes from nearly 100 countries in Qatar guaranteeing that this will be a truly global celebration of beach, water and action sports. We cannot wait for the Games to begin and watch some of the world’s best compete on this global stage for the first time,” she added.
Lindberg also said that the ANOC World Beach Games would be followed by the ANOC General Assembly and ANOC awards with representatives of 206 NOCs expected to attend them (at the Sheraton Grand Doha Resort and Convention Hotel from October 17-18).
To a question if any lesson was learnt from the IAAF World Championships about getting the crowd, Buenain said there is no need of a special plan to bring fans for the ANOC World Beach Games.
“According to the statistics there were more than 14,000 spectators on average over the first three days and it was more than 44,000 during the last four days, which is usual for the finals. So I am sure it was a successful World Championships.”
The 1st ANOC World Beach Games Qatar 2019 is the latest in an impressive list of prestigious multi-sport events that have been held in Qatar, including the Asian Games in 2006 and Pan Arab Games in 2011.   
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