Inaugural QOC Beach Games ends with exciting actions in men’s events
After two weeks of exciting beach sports action, the curtains were drawn on the inaugural Qatar Olympic Committee (QOC) Beach Games at the Aspire Park in Doha on Saturday with the finals of the men’s beach volleyball, men’s beach handball and the men’s beach football held on the day.
Saturday’s event had in attendance various dignitaries including QOC Secretary-General HE Jassim bin Rashid al-Buenain, Secretary-General of the Maldives Olympic Committee HE Ahmed Marzooq, QOC Sports Affairs Director Kalid Al Jaber, President of Qatar Volleyball Association Ali bin Ghanem Al Kuwari, President of the Qatar Handball Association Ahmad Mohammad Al-Shaabi among others.
One of the major highlights of the day was the highly entertaining final match of the football event which saw Shahaniyah being crowned the champions after staging a dramatic comeback from 4-1 down to level the scores at 5-5 in the third period against Doha. They subsequently won the game 8-6 after the resultant penalty shootout.
The match, which the attending dignitaries and a capacity crowd witnessed, had all the trappings of a befitting final as it had all the fans glued to their seat for most parts of the game as the players went toe-to-toe against each other.
The Doha team endued up rueing their several wasted opportunities and some laxity at their defence, especially in the second period, which allowed Shahaniyah to come back into the game after being on the back foot most part.
Aside from the trophy and medals, Shahaniyah walked away with the QR50,000 winners’ prize money while Doha got QR40,000 for their effort.
QOC Sports Affairs Director Kalid Al Jaber, said, "We are happy with the success of the maiden QOC Beach Games, and I would like to thank Aspire for their great support. The competition is really a legacy event from the 2019 ANOC World Beach Games, and I am happy that many talents have been discovered at this event. We plan to build on the success and do even better in the next edition."
In the handball event, Al Edaid were crowned champions and earned the QR40,000 prize money after defeating Al Khafji 2-1 (23-21, 12-14, 10-8) while Al Adaam trounced Al Nojoom 2-0 (21-13, 21-18) to claim the tournament’s championship trophy as well as the QR40,000 prize-money in the volleyball event. The runners-up of both events went home with QR30,000, respectively.
Secretary-General of the Maldives Olympic Committee HE Ahmed Marzooq, who was the guest of honor, said, “The tournament is very nice and I can see the legacy of the ANOC World Beach Games continuing in Qatar. It is lovely to see Qatar doing something that a lot of people can learn from. The countries who have been bidding for the Games can learn from Qatar.”
“Organizing this kind of event especially in the wake of the global COVID 19 pandemic is unprecedented. It's been a wonderful atmosphere and I’m happy to see lots of families and other people coming together to enjoy sports after almost a year and I must commend the organisers for putting this together. I've learnt many things from Qatar which I hope to translate into action once I get back home in the Maldives.”
Aside from the crowning of the day’s winners, the champions of all the women’s events and the men’s basketball 3X3 were also crowned on the day.
Seashore, the women’s football winners, got QR30,000 aside from the championship trophy while Team A7, the runners-up were rewarded with QR20,000.
Women’s handball champions, Al Shaqab, also went home with QR30,000 while runners-up Yasminat of Tunisia walked away with QR20,000. Same was for volleyball which was won by Al Maha with Al Amal being the runners-up.
However, in the basketball 3X3 events, men’s champions Al Ahlam were rewarded with QR30,000 while Al Wakrah, the runners-up got QR20,000. In the women’s event, Qatar B who defeated Doha to claim the trophy got QR25,000 while QR15,000 was for the second-placed.
Qatar Women's Sports Committee President Lolwa Al Marri said, "We thank the QOC and Aspire for organizing this kind of event. We are delighted and excited with the way it turned out. You can see that we have many spectators and the girls are excited to participate in the tournament. We are really happy to see everyone here today."
On the impact of a tournament like this on female sports in Qatar, Al Marri said, "Qatar has been successfully organizing a lot of very important sports events, but we are happy to have a local tournament of this nature for the first time. The tournament is enabling the girls not only to compete at a professional level, but it is also giving opportunities for players who are having this kind of experience for the first time. We believe that many girls will join our teams after this event."
The QR470,000 total prize-money QOC Beach Games, a legacy event from the maiden ANOC World Beach Games that Qatar successfully hosted in 2019, saw about 500 male and female athletes who competed in four events namely beach volleyball, beach handball, beach football and beach basketball 3X3. One of the many achievements from the competition was the spotted talents, especially in the women’s event where several under-16 and under-17 players with potentials to join the national teams were discovered.
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