04 May. 2020
Following a meeting of their Executive Council last week, the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) have decided to postpone the next edition of the ANOC World Beach Games until 2023. The second edition of the event, which made its debut last October in Doha, Qatar, was originally scheduled to take place in 2021.
In the inaugural edition, Brazil won gold in the men’s beach handball competition and Denmark took home the gold medal in the women’s beach handball competition, with the sport hailed as one of the “top sports of the whole World Games,” by the President of the International World Games Association, Jose Perurena Lopez.
In a short statement on their website, ANOC said, “following the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the rescheduling of Tokyo 2020 to 2021, ANOC decided it was in the best interests of NOCs and their athletes to move its flagship event to 2023” to “alleviate pressure on the National Olympic Committees (NOCs) and ensure they can focus on preparing their athletes for the rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games.”
ANOC had opened the bidding process for NOCs to submit their interest in hosting either the 2021 or 2023 editions of the Games, but they will now revise the bidding process, which will be re-opened next year.
Acting ANOC President Robin Mitchell said, “ANOC created the ANOC World Beach Games specifically for the benefit of the NOCs and their athletes; allowing NOCs to connect with a new generation of athletes and fans.
“Therefore, we have a responsibility to ensure that we continue to listen to our NOCs and deliver an event that is in their best interests. With Tokyo 2020 now scheduled for next year and then Beijing 2022 taking place just over six months later, the ANOC Executive Council has decided it would put too much pressure on NOCs to host the ANOC World Beach Games between the two Olympic Games.
“Of course, the ANOC World Beach Games involves different athletes and different sports from the Olympic Games, but ultimately it is the same NOCs who have to prepare the teams. By delaying the Games, we will reduce the workload of NOCs next year and ensure optimum preparation time for them to send their very best athletes in 2023. We will continue to remain flexible and adapt to the circumstances to ensure the long-term sustainable success of the ANOC World Beach Games.”
PHOTO: Association of National Olympic Committees