Doha, October 12, 2019: The first-ever Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) World Beach Games have officially been launched in Qatar with a tasteful Opening Ceremony that blended traditional local culture with international sport.
Hundreds of athletes from 97 countries enjoyed a gloriously choreographed evening of entertainment in the Amphitheatre of Katara Beach where a vast majority of the action is taking place until October 16.
While the ceremony provided the formal launch to proceedings, the Games has already hosted two days of world-class action with Saturday’s competitions following on from Friday’s quality opening day.
Hosts Qatar enjoyed two more victories over Uruguay and Tunisia to continue to set the pace in Group B with four wins.
In-form Denmark moved to the top of Group A with a hard-earned 2-0 victory over Brazil to also make it four wins from four.
Brazil remain unbeaten in the women’s Group A, two points clear of South American rivals Argentina, while, in Group B, world champions Greece came through unscathed following two more victories, but they face a Sunday showdown with fellow unbeaten side, Spain, to decide who takes the group (Opening Ceremony Beach Games).
Mixed Doubles launched the Beach Tennis action with five round-of-32 matches and one women’s doubles preliminary sandwiched in between.
The women match went the way of Portugal, while the Mixed Doubles matches won by Japan, France, Puerto Rico and Russia.
Beach Volleyball (4×4)
Eight teams divided into two groups for both men and women with all playing their first games on Saturday.
In the women’s, there were 2-0 wins for USA and Brazil in Group A, and Australia and Vanuatu in Group B.
Qatar kept the home flag flying high with a dramatic 2-1 win over Indonesia in the men’s Group A, where Germany also won by the same margin.
Australia and Poland both won their matches 2-0 in Group B.
For the first time in the history of the sport, karatekas switched from tatamito sand in a major tournament to showcase their kata skills on Katara Beach.
The majestic discipline saw four groups of eight athletes in men’s and women’s events. The top four from each group qualified through to another group stage on Sunday.
Advancing from the men’s competition were World No. 2 Damian Quintero (ESP), along with Ali Sofuoglu (TUR), Ariel Torres (USA), Ahmad Zaresta (INA), Vu Dack (FRA), Antonio Diaz (VEN), Tsz Cheng (HKG), Mohammed Al Mosawi (KUW), Gakuji Tozaki (USA), Emre Goktas (TUR), Roman Heydarov (AZE), Nykolai Arango (DOM), Salman Al Mosawi (KUW), Enzo Montarello (FRA), Yi Wang (TPE) and Sergio Galan (ESP).
In the Women’s event, World No 1 Sandra Sanchez (ESP) advanced with the highest score and will be joined tomorrow by Jessica Kwong (USA), Fatemeh Sadeghi (IRI), Alexandrea Anacan (NZL), Valerya Hernandez (VEN), Terryana D’Onofrio (ITA), Maria Dimitrova (DOM), Monsicha Tararattanakul (THA), Mo Lau (HKG), Sakura Kokumai (USA), Jasmin Juettner (GER), Phuong Nguyen (VIE), Carola Casale (ITA), Dilara Eltemur and Celine Lee (MAS) will be back to compete on Sunday.
The Games continue on Sunday with 10 of the 13 sports on show.
Beach Handball, Beach Soccer, Beach Tennis, Beach Volleyball and Karate Kate will continue their competitions while fans will get their first taste of 3×3 Basketball, Bouldering, Kitefoil Racing, Waterskiing and Open Water Swimming. —- AWBG