Doha’s hosting of the 2nd GCC Beach Games have come to a fantastic finale after a week of intense competition, with the final medals awarded on Thursday 9 April 2015.
The Games took place from 2 to 9 April 2015 and saw top athletes from the GCC take part in the fierce competitions, hosted in Al Gharafa Club and Katara Cultural Village.
Speaking after the final medals ceremony, Secretary General of the Qatar Olympic Committee (QOC) and President of the Organizing Committee, HE Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said:
We are honored to have hosted the 2nd GCC Beach Games and we are confident that this edition has set a new standard for the hosting of future GCC Beach Games and raised the profile of Beach sports across the whole of the GCC. We are very proud of the performance of all our athletes and we hope that the high-level competition has inspired young people across our nation and our region and fostered their passion for sport.’
The final medal standings of the Games saw Oman best the competition, with a total of 12 medals, seven gold, four silver and one bronze. Qatar was a close second with six medals, four gold, one silver and one bronze medal, while the UAE stands at the third position on the overall medals table with 10 medals in total, one gold, three silver and six bronze.
Qatar’s handball team had an undefeated run in the Games, demolishing the competition to win the gold medal on Monday 6 April 2015, after defeating Bahrain in a final that was played in an electrifying atmosphere to the drums of Qatari fans. The Omani handball team took the silver medal while Bahrain settled for bronze.
Team Qatar’s volleyball team was also victorious in the Games, after winning both sets of the final match and defeating the Omani team 2-0. Qatar’s volleyball team took home the gold medal while Oman’s team B and A took silver and bronze respectively.
Oman topped the points table and took home the gold medal after an intense run in the football competition with the UAE, who took the silver medal while Kuwait won bronze. The football competition was especially close, with the UAE and Oman a mere point away from each other throughout the Games.
The sailing competitions, which were hosted in Katara Cultural Village along with Open Water Swimming, Rowing and Skydiving, saw Waleed al-Sharshani win the gold medal for Team Qatar in the Laser Standard Class, ahead of Bahrain who took silver and Oman who claimed Bronze. Not to be outdone, Bahrain’s Jassim Showaiter pulled ahead of Qatar’s Faris al-Bakri to win the gold medal in the Laser Radial Class, while the UAE’s Saeed Al Zaidi settled for bronze.
As for the Laser 4.7 Class event, Oman’s Khamis Al Wahaibi took home gold while Saoud al-Naar won silver for Bahrain and the UAE’s Hamza Al Ali secured the bronze medal. The sailing action continued on Monday 6 April 2015, with Zakaria Al Wahabi from Oman taking gold in the Optimist Class, ahead of the UAE’s Abdullah Al Bishr and Oman’s Marwan Al Jabri, who won the silver and bronze medals respectively.
The Open Water Swimming events saw Oman’s Mohamed al-Habasi decimate the competition in the 5km race with a time of 1.01.22.88, ahead of his countryman Muslim al-Khoudori who won silver, and the UAE’s Abdullah Al Boloushi who took home the bronze. In the 10km race, Oman’s Al Habasi continued to best his opponents and clocked in a time of 1:59:43.77 taking home the gold medal, leaving his countryman Al Khoudori once again in second place and Yousuf Al Askari trailing in the third position.
The Closing Ceremony of the 2nd GCC Beach Games DOHA 2015 saw HE Sheikh Saoud award Qatar the gold medal in the 3×3 Basketball event while the UAE won the silver medal and Kuwait claimed bronze – after a stunning final that brought the crowd to their feet, ending the 2nd GCC Beach Games on a high.
The 2nd GCC Beach Games is exemplary of the GCC’s commitment to sport in general, and beach games in particular, which have recently grown to become a major focus for international sport.
GCC National Olympic Committees, during an Executive Board meeting of the GCC Beach Games earlier on Thursday, reaffirmed their commitment to the GCC Beach Games which offers invaluable experience for athletes, officials and hosts alike.
Attending the Executive Board Meeting were Secretary General of the Bahrain Olympic Committee Abdulrahman Askar, and Taha Al Kethairi, Secretary General of the Oman Olympic Committee, who praised Qatar’s hosting of the Games, emphasising that Qatar has once again set a new standard by hosting a unique and innovative edition. They also praised the addition of rowing to this year’s Games, especially in light of Qatar hosting the prestigious GCC Rowing Championship in 2016.