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Glittering ceremony kicks off sporting fiesta

HE Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad Al Thani declares the event open at the Katara Cultural Village.
Glittering Ceremony Kicks Off Sporting Fiesta
President of the Qatar Olympic Committee HE Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad Al Thani places a glowing globe on a podium soon after inaugurating the first ANOC World Beach Games in Katara Cultural Village on Saturday.

A glittering ceremony showcasing Qatar’s links with the beach and sea marked the opening of the inaugural Association of National Olympic Committees’ (ANOC) World Beach Games at the Katara Cultural Village in Doha on Saturday.

HE Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad Al Thani, president of the Qatar Olympic Committee (QOC) and chairman of the organising committee, declared the event open at the amphitheatre in Katara, as fireworks lit up the night sky and lilting music came wafting through the air.

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IQ Infographics: Abhilash Chacko

Qatar Olympic Committee Secretary General Jassim Rashid Al Buenain Welcomes The Athletes During The Opening Ceremony At The Amphitheatre In Katara
Qatar Olympic Committee Secretary General Jassim Rashid Al Buenain welcomes the athletes during the opening ceremony at the Amphitheatre in Katara. Photo: Adam Nurkiewicz/Laurel Photo Services
Even as rays from strobe lights spread all over the amphitheatre, the 5000-odd spectators were showered with glitter, triggering rapturous applause and loud cheers.

Meanwhile, five white globes representing different continents lit up on the stage while another one glowed in front of the small podium where the members of the royal family were seated.

The delightful opening act held a mirror to Qatar’s past. The story was narrated in a theatrical manner with an old man telling his grandchildren about fishermen, pearl divers and kids playing on the beach. The story then travelled to the present with a mention of the World Beach Games and ended with an energetic song.

A line from the song, ‘Nurturing heroes and painting dreams that will continue for generations’ aptly wove into the presentation Qatar’s contribution to sport and its hopes from the future.

A traditional cultural performance ‘Arda’ was presented in the pre-show, with children capturing the Qatari culture through songs and their costumes.

Fireworks Light Up The Amphitheater At The Katara Cultural Village At The Opening Ceremony Of The Anoc World Beach Games
Fireworks light up the amphitheater at the Katara Cultural Village at the opening ceremony of the ANOC World Beach Games. Photo: Adam Nurkiewicz / Laurel Photo Services.

Earlier, QOC Secretary General and Deputy Chairman of the Organising Committee of the ANOC World Beach Games, Jassim Rashid Al Buenain, welcomed the athletes and wished them all the best for the competitions.

“By hosting the ANOC World Beach Games Qatar has helped foster harmony and friendship and we believe that exciting action is in store in the days to come,” he said.

Robin Mitchell, Acting President of ANOC said, “Qatar has supported us wonderfully through its dedication and hard work to host the first World Beach Games. This reflects in the excellent facilities in place for the athletes. We believe Qatar will put on an amazing show in this global feast of beach, water and sports”.