Bangkok, Thailand: The 4th Asian Beach Games in Phuket, Thailand, next week will take on added significance following the ANOC General Assembly decision to organise a World Beach Games, ANOC and OCA President Sheikh Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah said on Saturday 8th November.
Speaking at a press conference to sum up the XIX ANOC General Assembly, Sheikh Ahmad told the media that the OCA’s fourth edition of the popular Asian Beach Games would provide valuable knowledge for sports industry experts as they plan for the inaugural world event involving all 204 National Olympic Committees.
“Many cities are showing an interest to host the first ANOC World Beach Games, but before we choose a host city we must make sure this will be a landmark event,” he said.
“In Asia we have a lot of experience with the Beach Games, starting with Bali, Indonesia, in 2008 and now with the fourth Asian Beach Games in Phuket. Next week we will have a chance to look at the sports from a technical point of view and also have discussions about the rules, marketing and broadcast services.
“This will be the first step. The second step will be to consider the host city.”
Sheikh Ahmad said that all the International Sports Federations knocking on the door of ANOC to be accepted into the World Beach Games will be in Phuket, where the event runs from November 14-23 with 26 sports, including muaythai and 168 events.
Several new sports have been added to the 4th Asian Beach Games in Phuket this month, which will make them the biggest Games ever in terms of the number of sporting events this year. Muaythai, promises to be one of the new exciting additions with a huge popularity base.
The Phuket programme includes beach track and field, beach modern pentathlon with only three disciplines, including laser shooting, squash, beach flag football, ju-jitsu and 3×3 basketball, pioneered by the OCA.
“We can evaluate the games technically and from a broadcasting point of view with experts to see what will be in our programme,” he said, adding that rowing and tennis had also shown an interest. “We can use this as an exercise to analyse the sports.”
Sheikh Ahmad reported on the main resolutions of the General Assembly, and said the 2015 ANOC General Assembly in Washington DC, USA, would give the United States the chance to “return” to the Olympic movement following the problems with Salt Lake City and missing out on hosting Olympic Games. “It is a good opportunity for the United States Olympic Committee to build the trust again,” he said.
The ANOC President confirmed that the second ANOC Gala Awards Dinner would take place on the sidelines of the General Assembly in Washington DC next October, and stressed that an athlete nominated for the top prize would be overlooked if they could not attend the event to receive their award.