Doha, Qatar: Marcello Guidi, of Italy, and Ana de Jesus Soares, of Brazil, swam into the history books this morning by winning the first-ever gold medals awarded at the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) World Beach Games Qatar 2019.
It was an early start for the 5k open water swimmers off Katara Beach, with Guidi taking the lead in the home stretch to win in a time of 55 minutes and 25 seconds. Denis Adeev (55:26), of Russia, also overtook long-time race leader, Soeren Meissner, to take silver, with the German (55:28) settling for bronze.
The women’s race was dominated by de Jesus Soares, the reigning 5k world champion, who took the lead early on and never relinquished it, winning gold in a time of 59:51. China's Yawen Hou hit the board a second later, with Leonie Beck, of Germany, in third in 59:53.
On a busy day of action with no less than 10 sports played, medals were also decided in the karate discipline of kata with Spain clinching a golden double.
World No. 1, Sandra Sanchez, breezed to the women’s title, beating Iran’s Fatemeh Sadeghi in the final, with the bronze medals going to Mo Lau (HKG) and Maria Dimitrova (DOM).
Damian Quintero, the men’s World No. 2, made it a memorable event for Spain, beating Yi Wang of Chinese Taipei in the final, with the bronze medals picked up by Gakuji Tozaki (USA) and Antonio Diaz (VEN).
In the beach handball, Qatar carry their 100 per cent record into the next phase after beating Spain to make it five wins from five. They will be well-placed going into Monday’s quarter-finals where Hungary, Croatia and Spain have joined them from Group B, along with Denmark, Brazil, Sweden and Australia from Group A.
Fifteen-year-old prodigy, Maxime Roux, of France, blew his competitors out of the water in the men’s wakeboard qualifiers at Leqtaifiya Lagoon to be a strong favourite for Monday’s final. In the women’s qualifiers, European champion Sanne Meijer, of the Netherlands, also came through unscathed.
In the Waterski Jumppreliminary round, Marie Vympranietsova, of Greece, took a commanding lead with a first jump of 47.9m to head the field for tomorrow’s final. The men’s was cancelled due to high winds with all competitors going through to tomorrow’s final.
The Olympic sport of 3x3 basketball provided proved popular with the men’s and women’s groups playing their first matches. The USA women’s team proved unbeatable in their two matches and will take some stopping, while Russia were among the early pacesetters in the men’s.
Brazil remain unbeaten in both genders for beach soccer, which continued its group games following a day’s break. But while the men beat the UAE in their second match, the women were held 4-4 by Mexico in Group A. Great Britain and Russia have won both of their matches to share Group B’s top spot.
A full schedule in beach tennis has taken the men’s, women’s and mixed doubles competitions through to the quarterfinal stage on Monday, while the climbing sport of bouldering got underway at the state-of-the-art Aspire with the finals also set for Monday.
Qatar’s beach volleyball side picked up excellent victories over the USA and Germany to win Group A. Brazil and USA were among the lead performers in the women’s.
Monday presents another busy schedule of 11 sports including the medal events of aquathlon, bouldering, skateboarding, wakeboarding and waterskiing jump.