The Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) has today (Friday) announced that Qatar will stage its inaugural World Beach Games later this year after San Diego was stripped of the event last month.
The event will take place from October 12-16, with the sports programme to remain unchanged. San Diego had originally been due to host from October 10-15.
ANOC said Qatar’s “spectacular oceanfront locations” make it the perfect setting for the Games, which will feature 14 sports.
ANOC also said the relocation would have no impact on the ongoing qualification process, which has already seen more than 70 National Olympic Committees secure their place at the event. Athletes from up to 90 nations are ultimately expected to compete.
Qatar will also host the ANOC General Assembly and ANOC Awards, which will take place immediately after the Games from October 17-18.
ANOC secretary general Gunilla Lindberg said: “Work has been continuing to ensure our inaugural ANOC World Beach Games is a universal, elite event, with more world-class athletes from around the world qualifying every week. 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.”
San Diego 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 this year to allow International Federations more time to prepare athletes for the event.
San Diego was ultimately forced to withdraw hosting rights last month amid financial issues, with event chairman Vincent Mudd citing challenges with securing the necessary sponsorships.