UAE mustered enough medals to finish in third place as Oman came out on top in the battle of the second GCC Beach Games after a week of intense competition.
Oman finished with a total of 12 medals, 7 gold, 4 silver and 1 bronze. Qatar was a close second with six medals, 4 gold, 1 silver and 1 bronze medal, while the UAE finished third with 10 medals in total, 1 gold, 3 silver and 6 bronze.
The Games took place from the April 2 - 9 April and saw top athletes from the GCC take part in the fierce competitions, hosted in Al-Gharafa Club and Katara Cultural Village.
Qatar’s handball team had an undefeated run in the Games, demolishing the competition to win the gold 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.
Speaking after the final medals ceremony, Secretary General of the Qatar Olympic Committee and President of the Organizing Committee, His Excellency 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.”
Meanwhile, 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 Closing Ceremony of the Games saw His Excellency Sheikh Saoud award Qatar the gold medal in the 3x3 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 second GCC Beach Games on a high.
The Beach Games are exemplary of the Gulf Cooperation Council’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, emphasizing 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.