19 Jun. 2019
Following the decision on 30 May by the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) to relocate the 2019 ANOC World Beach Games from San Diego, USA, to a new host city to “ensure it provides the best possible environment for NOCs and their athletes,” it has been confirmed that Qatar will now host the debut edition of the multi-sport event.
In a statement on their website ANOC revealed that the event will now be hosted by the Qatar Olympic Committee following financial guarantees from the Qatar government, plus the Asian nation having a proven track-record in successfully hosting international events, including world championships in swimming, gymnastics, cycling and, of course, the spectacular 2015 IHF Men’s World Championship in Doha.
The statement goes on to say that:
“Qatar boasts spectacular oceanfront locations and is ready to provide the perfect setting for NOCs and their athletes to compete in exciting beach, action and water sports.
“In order to prevent disruption to the NOCs and their athletes, the sports programme will remain unchanged and the dates of the Games will be moved back just a few days to 12-16 October. There will also be no impact on the ongoing qualification process which has seen more than 70 NOCs qualify across the 14 sports, with athletes from up to 90 nations ultimately expected to compete.”
In addition to the Games themselves, Qatar will also host the ANOC General Assembly and ANOC Awards on 17-18 October.
“Work has been continuing to ensure our inaugural ANOC World Beach Games is a universal, elite event,” said ANOC Secretary General Gunilla Lindberg. “The Games was conceived with the needs of NOCs and athletes in mind, and ANOC is in no doubt that the decision to relocate the inaugural edition to Qatar makes prudent financial and sporting sense.
“We are delighted to have established a partnership with the highly experienced team at the Qatar Olympic Committee, backed up with the enthusiastic support of the Qatar government.”
Beach handball is set to be one of the standout sports in Qatar, with the host nation’s men’s team one of the likely teams to challenge for the gold medal. Along with many other teams from across Asia, they are currently in China at the 7th AHF Men’s and Women’s Asian Beach Handball Championship, which also acts as a qualification for Qatar 2019, like the 1st African Beach Games, also underway currently, in Cape Verde.
ANOC will be communicating further details about the ANOC World Beach Games, ANOC General Assembly and ANOC Awards in Qatar in due course, their website can be found at www.anocolympic.org.