Sparkling fare thrills spectators on final day
Brazil bag three gold and two silver medals but fail to topple Spain from top spot on the medals tally.
An electric atmosphere across the Katara Cultural Village, triggered by great sporting action and vociferous spectators, saw the first ANOC World Beach Games in Doha end in an explosive fashion on Wednesday.
As expected, all the finals of the day produced scintillating action under floodlights at Qatar’s picturesque recreational venue. If the soccer contests featured great goals, volleyball had clever tactics on view while energetic dribbles and breathtaking shots surfaced at the basketball competitions.
The fans who turned up in large numbers were spoilt for choice. The temporary stands were packed and people stood on the aisles, to take in the exciting fare on display. They cheered, danced and indulged in Mexican waves even as the entertaining announcers urged them on.
The theme seemed to be fun and celebration on the beach and it was not coincidental that a country known for the same qualities — Brazil — picked up three of the nine gold medals on offer on the final day. They came close to bagging the yellow metal in two more finals but fell short narrowly as Spain emerged on top of the medals table.
Had Brazil claimed those two medals, Spain’s position at the top would have been in danger. That was not to be and Spain finished with seven gold in a total of 10 medals. Brazil had to be content with five gold medals while Italy was in third spot with four gold.
The Brazilian mixed doubles tennis team of Vinicius Font and Joana Cortez won the first final of the day defeating the Italian pair of Tommaso Giovannini and Flaminia Daina 2-1.
The action then shifted to the volleyball courts where Brazil were pitted against the USA. The South Americans came up short, losing 16-21, 9-21.
The heat was certainly on in men’s beach handball as Brazil and Spain waged a tough battle. The crowd got what they came to see – explosive action and brilliant goals. In the end, Brazil won 14-17, 19-18, 11-10.
Brazil’s third gold medal on the day came in men’s beach soccer where they carried far too much firepower for Russia. They won 9-3.
The Russian 3×3 basketball team made amends though snatching a 21-19 win against the South Americans.
Spain added one more gold medal to their tally on the final day, winning the closely contested women’s beach soccer final 3-2 against Great Britain.
Denmark and Germany had to wait till the final day to open their gold medal account. The Denmark women’s handball team defeated Hungary 21-19, 15-14 in the final while Germany’s Florian Gruber picked up the gold in the men’s kitefoil racing.