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Bidding opens for World Beach Games as future secured

A general view of the Beach Wrestling competition at Katara Beach during the ANOC World Beach Games in Doha, Qatar (by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

The Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) has opened a bidding process for hosting rights to future editions of the World Beach Games after confirming it will continue past its maiden event.

The inaugural World Beach Games took place in Qatar from October 12-16 last year after originally being due to be hosted by the US city of San Diego. The future of the multi-sport event was the key item on the agenda of an ANOC Executive Council meeting held in Lausanne yesterday (Wednesday).

Following the conclusion of the 2019 Games, ANOC conducted a comprehensive debrief with the participating National Olympic Committees (NOCs) and International Federations (IFs), as well as with the International Olympic Committee’s Olympic Channel and Organising Committee staff.

While ANOC said there was “room for improvement”, it added that feedback from the NOCs and the IFs was “very positive”. A total of 68 NOCs provided feedback along with all 13 IFs whose sports were represented. The average feedback score for both the NOCs and IFs was above 8.5 out of 10.

It has been agreed by the Executive Council that the Games should be continued and a letter will be sent out today to all NOCs inviting them to register their interest in hosting a future edition of the Games. Regulations for the Games are also currently being drafted.

ANOC acting president Robin Mitchell said: “We were very happy with the feedback we got from the NOCs and the IFs about the ANOC World Beach Games. We know there is plenty of room for improvement and the feedback we received was invaluable in helping us plan for the future as we aim to work with our partners to realise the Games’ huge potential.”

San Diego had originally been due to host the 2019 Games from October 10-15. The city was first announced as the host of the Games in October 2015 and the event had originally been due to take place in 2017. The Games were eventually postponed until 2019 to allow IFs more time to prepare athletes for the event.

San Diego was ultimately forced to withdraw hosting rights in May amid financial issues, with event chairman Vincent Mudd citing challenges with securing sponsorship support.