ANOC, Qatar Sign Beach Games Contract -- Federation Focus

Also: LA to host FIBA 3x3 World Tour Final; Taekwondo, hockey federations join forces for humanitarian efforts.

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(ATR) ANOC and the Qatar Olympic Committee (QOC) make it official on Thursday, signing the 2019 ANOC World Beach Games Host City Contract (HCC) at ANOC headquarters in Lausanne.

Qatar stepped in when ANOC stripped San Diego of hosting rights last month after organizers were unable to find the private financing to fund the games.

The dates of the Games will be moved back just a few days to Oct. 12-16. The late change in venue will have no impact on the ongoing qualification process. More than 70 NOCs have qualified across the 14 sports, with around 1400 athletes from up to 90 countries ultimately expected to compete.

The Beach Games will follow on the heels of the IAAF world championships, which run from Sept. 28 to Oct. 6 in the oil-rich Gulf country.

"Qatar has a formidable track-record in hosting elite sporting events and also boasts many existing beach venues, minimizing the need for any additional temporary infrastructure," ANOC Secretary General Gunilla Lindberg said in a statement.

"Over the coming weeks we will be welcoming the International Federations and NOCs to Qatar so that they can see the venues and stunning beach locations for themselves and provide any feedback on how we can provide the best environment for the stars of the Games – the athletes."

ANOC and the QOC will host participating IFs at the start of July followed by the NOC Chef de Mission seminar on July 8-11.

Immediately after the Beach Games end, ANOC will hold its general assembly and annual awards in Doha on Oct. 17-18, It will be the second time in the last four years that Doha has staged the annual gathering of the world's 206 NOCs.

LA to Host FIBA 3x3 World Tour Final 2020-2023

The annual FIBA 3x3 World Tour Final will be held in Los Angeles from 2020 to 2023.

The international governing body for basketball and the Los Angeles Times media group announced an agreement on Wednesday.

"This partnership is a breakthrough for the growth of 3x3 basketball," FIBA Secretary General Andreas Zagklis said in a statement.

"We are excited to bring our urban discipline to the next level in North America with a renowned and innovative group like the Los Angeles Times. This will undoubtedly cement the FIBA 3x3 culture in the build up to the Los Angeles 2028 Games."

The L.A. Times is already sponsoring the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Masters on Sept. 20-21. The tournament will be the centerpiece of the L.A. Street Festival, a new event featuring esports competitions, dunking, music, and break dancing in addition to the 3x3 basketball.

Beginning in 2020, the World Tour Final will be part of the L.A. Street Festival.

Taekwondo, Hockey Federations Join Forces

World Taekwondo (WT), the Taekwondo Humanitarian Foundation, the International Hockey Federation (FIH), and The Hockey Foundation are teaming up to promote humanitarian and peace-building initiatives.

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed earlier this week byWT President and THF Chairman Chungwon Choue and FIH President Narinder Dhruv Batra.

Under the MOU, the four organizations aim to commit on developing close cooperation in the following areas:

• Promoting sport as a powerful vehicle towards peace, social development and integration of vulnerable populations;

• Uniting forces in offering sport for development and peace activities, in particular in THF’s existing Humanitarian Taekwondo Center in Azraq Refugee Camp, Jordan, and potentially other locations worldwide;

• Exchanging and sharing of expertise, know-how, information and publications.

Choue, after the signing ceremony, said "It goes to show that, with the right partners, we can go a long way in delivering hopes and dreams to those who need it most."

Written by Gerard Farek

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