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ANOC lauds Qatar for successful hosting

Association of National Olympic Committees fully satisfied with the organisation of the inaugural edition.
Gunilla Lindberg Anoc Secretary General Justin Shea Anoc Media Team Doha
Gunilla Lindberg, ANOC Secretary General, left, addresses the media in Doha on Friday. Justin Shea, member of the ANOC Media team, is also seen. Photo: Team IQ

Qatar earned all-round appreciation at the General Assembly of the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) in Doha on Friday, following its successful organisation of the inaugural World Beach Games.

ANOC Secretary General Gunilla Lindberg, who addressed the media at the end of the two-day General Assembly, said the Games went off without a hitch and the way it was expected.

The six-day World Beach Games had ended on a great note on Wednesday while the two-day ANOC General Assembly and the awards night went off without a hitch.

Lindberg was all praise for Qatar.

“Qatar really proved that they were ready to host the Games. I’m very happy about how the Games went off. I had said before the event that it would be about youth, fun and sand – it was exactly what we had hoped for,” said Lindberg.

She added there were plenty of positive reactions from the athletes.

“They (athletes) were very impressed with the atmosphere that prevailed. While they enjoyed themselves, they also appreciated the keen contests on the field. Forty countries out of the 97 that participated won medals,” said the ANOC Secretary General.

A resolution highlighting Qatar’s flawless organisation of the Games and the ANOC meetings was passed at the General Assembly.

“ANOC congratulates the Qatar Olympic Committee (QOC) and its President HE Sheik Joaan bin Hamad Al Thani for the excellent organisation of the ANOC Meetings. We also congratulate the QOC and the Local Organising Committee for successfully hosting the first ever ANOC World Beach Games,” said the resolution.

Lindberg underlined ANOC’s strong relations with Qatar and promised to continue their association in future.

“We’ve a very good relationship with Qatar. During these Games we worked as a team. We’ll continue to work together in future as well,” she said.
Lindberg said she was pleased with the attendance at the Beach Games which kept increasing as the Games progressed.

“Some of the sports were new and it takes time to attract fans when you introduce a new competition. But from the second day, people turned up in large numbers and on the last two-three days we had very good turnout,” she said.

Lindberg said no decision had been taken about the next hosts, but added it would be done after the post-Games assessment.

“We’ll evaluate the Doha Games which was the first time ever we had such an event. This process includes sending a survey to the NOCs and participating athletes. We’ll also discuss about what we want in future. We most certainly want the Games to stay. We’ll be ready to announce the hosts of the next Beach Games may be by January or February next,” said the ANOC Secretary General.

Lindberg said the evaluation process would involve talks on the possibility of including new sports as well.

“For the first edition we had budgetary restraints, so we reduced the number of sports from 20 to 15. We then dropped surfing and decided to have only 14. There’re a long list of sports that want to come in,” she said.

Lindberg revealed that quite a few Mediterranean countries had showed interest in hosting the next Games.

The General Assembly also passed a resolution postponing its presidential election indefinitely until an ethics investigation against its chief Sheikh Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah of Kuwait was over.

It may be recalled that the Kuwaiti official had stepped aside as the ANOC president in 2018 after a Swiss court initiated an investigation against him.

The resolution also stated that senior vice-president Robin Mitchell would continue as the ANOC Acting President.