Spectacular Opening Ceremony marks official start of the ANOC World Beach Games Qatar 2019
12 October 2019; Qatar: The ANOC World Beach Games Qatar 2019 opened in spectacular fashion this evening in the Qatari capital of Doha.
A capacity crowd of 5,000 people took their seats at the Katara Amphitheatre, located in the Katara Cultural Village, as Qatar Olympic Committee President HE Sheikh Joaan Bin Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani officially opened the inaugural edition of the Games, declaring:
“I officially announce the opening of the first edition of the ANOC World Beach Games Qatar 2019. Wishing all athletes and participants the best of luck and a wonderful stay.”
A memorable Opening Ceremony saw the engaging introduction of the delegations of the 97 competing National Olympic Committees (NOCs). In line with the overall focus of innovation at the Games, the athlete representatives parade deviated from the traditional Olympic format, with flag-bearing athletes all entering the stage at the same time.
The Opening Ceremony included a variety of traditional cultural performances, showcasing the fusion of sport, music and art, which is imbedded into the theme of the Games. There was also an entertaining extended theatrical performance, charting Qatar’s sporting journey up to present day and highlighting the passion for sport that is now ingrained into Qatari society.
HE Jassim Al Buainain, Director General and Vice President of the Local Organising Committee gave the first address of the evening, stating:
“On behalf of the Local Organising Committee of the ANOC World Beach Games Qatar 2019, we welcome you to the State of Qatar. We embrace this opportunity because it brings nations, athletes and fans closer together in sport. We also believe that such events nurture greater cultural exchange, understanding and harmony. The State of Qatar considers sport, in its various forms, a pillar of its current and future sustainability. We hope these games will contribute to the enduring global legacy of these sporting disciplines and thank ANOC for their trust and cooperation, and also thank all who contributed to the organization of these games.”
Robin Mitchell, ANOC Acting President, then addressed the audience, saying:
“It is my great privilege to be here today for the inaugural edition of this exciting new multisport event. I would like to begin by thanking our outstanding hosts – the State of Qatar, His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani and the Qatar Olympic Committee – for their warm and welcoming hospitality. You have been excellent partners and we are very grateful for your support, dedication and hard work.
“When ANOC launched the World Beach Games back in 2015, we had a vision of a global multi-sport event, created specifically for the benefit of the NOCs and their athletes. An event that combines elite youth-focused beach, water and action sports with captivating beach locations. As the action unfolds over the coming days, I have every confidence that you will feel this vision being realised.”
Over 1,200 athletes are competing in 14 disciplines across 13 sports, with all 5 continents represented. 35 countries from Europe are taking part, with 21 from Asia, 19 from the Americas, 17 from Africa and 5 from Oceania. The first day of competition started yesterday, with beach handball and beach soccer, with action continuing until 16 October.
The competition programme for the Games includes a mix of beach, water and action sports, with 3×3 basketball, kitefoil racing, open water swimming (5km), aquathlon, karate individual kata, beach wrestling, beach tennis, beach soccer, beach handball, beach volleyball, bouldering, skateboarding, waterski jump and wakeboard all featuring world-class fields.