Gold medalist Blessing Joy Onyebuchi (C) of Nigeria pose for photos during the awarding ceremony of the women’s Beach Wrestling Over 70kg at the 1st ANOC World Beach Games Qatar 2019 in Doha
The second edition of the World Beach Games originally meant to take place in 2021 has been postponed to 2023.
According to a report, the competition which is one of the innovations by the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) World Beach Games was postponed until 2023 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The report stated ANOC’s Executive Council had decided not to stage the event as planned next year “to alleviate pressure on the National Olympic Committees (NOCs) and ensure they can focus on preparing their athletes for the rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games”.
The bidding process for the event, which had been opened alongside the 2023 edition in January, has also been pushed back to 2021.
The 2023 games will effectively replace the 2021 edition, and the postponement could prompt the umbrella body to look at staging the event on a quadrennial basis instead of every two years.
Nigeria competed at the inaugural World Beach Games in Doha, Qatar from 12 to 16 October 2019.
In total, athletes representing Nigeria won one gold medal and one silver medal as the country finished in 11th place in the medal table.
“ANOC created the ANOC World Beach Games specifically for the benefit of the NOCs and their athletes, allowing NOCs to connect with a new generation of athletes and fans,” said ANOC Acting President, Robin Mitchell.
“Therefore, we have a responsibility to ensure that we continue to listen to our NOCs and deliver an event that is in their best interests.
“With Tokyo 2020 now scheduled for next year and then Beijing 2022 taking place just over six months later, the ANOC Executive Council has decided it would put too much pressure on NOCs to host the ANOC World Beach Games between the two Olympic Games.
“Of course, the ANOC World Beach Games involves different athletes and different sports from the Olympic Games, but ultimately it is the same NOCs who have to prepare the teams.
“By delaying the Games, we will reduce the workload of NOCs next year and ensure optimum preparation time for them to send their very best athletes in 2023.
“We will continue to remain flexible and adapt to the circumstances to ensure the long-term sustainable success of the ANOC World Beach Games.”