Aquathlon set to make its debut at the ANOC Doha World Beach Games
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Best Aquathletes of the world head now to Doha, Qatar, for the debut of the sport in the inaugural ANOC World Beach Games, set to take place in the pristine beach of Katara, on the northern shores of Doha. With a total of 60 athletes competing, the Elite individual races will take place on Monday, October 14th, early morning, with the 2x2 Mixed Relay taking place the following day.
The athletes will compete on a 2.5km run, 700m swim and a final 2.5k run for the victory, while for the Mixed Relay event, each athlete will do a 1.25k run, 500m swim and another 1.25k run, with teams formed with a man and a woman from the same country, and each athletes to the distance twice.
In the Men’s field, all eyes will be set on Belgium’s Emmanuel Lejeune, current Aquathlon World Champion, and willing to get in the inaugural Beach Games podium, even though he will have some strong competence on the likes of Spain’s Kevin Tarek Vinuela -silver medallist in last year’s World Championships and winner of the Mediterranean Games-.
Some strong swimmers in the usual ITU circuit, like Azerbaijan’s Rotislav Pevtsov, current bronze medalist in the triathlon sprint distance European Championships and with many World Cup medals on his tally, will be hard to beat in the shore of Doha. Hungarian Mark Devay, Sergiy Kurochkin (UKR), Tomas Svoboda (CRO) or Slovenian Domen Dornik, a member of the ASICS World Triathlon Team, will be among the ones to watch.
With 30 female athletes taking the start only 5 minutes after the men, wearing number one will be Roumania’s Antoanela Manac. Her third place in the 2018 Aquathlon European Championships, first one in the U23 category, put her in a position to be able to fight for the victory in Doha, having shown before her strength both in the run and swim segments.
Some strong Aquathlon specialists, like Itzel Arroyo Equino (MEX); Hannah Kitchen (GBR), Xisca Tous (ESP) or Margarita Krylova (UKR), will have to show their competency against athletes that have been for long time in the triathlon international circuit like Juri Ide (JPN) or Zsanett Bragmayer (HUN).
The striking setting of Katara Beach, where the Aquathlon venue is located, will be the Beach Games epicentre, hosting all of the medal events as well as the complete competitions for 3x3 Basketball, Kitefoil Racing, Open Water Swimming 5Km, Individual Kata, Beach Wrestling, Beach Tennis and Beach Soccer, on top of the already mentioned Aquathlon.
Up to 1,500 athletes from 97 countries have qualified to take part in the inaugural Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) World Beach Games Qatar 2019. The competition started on October 11, one day before the opening ceremony, and wraps up on October 16.
The competition programme for the Beach Games includes a mix of beach, water and action sports with 3x3 Basketball, Kitefoil Racing, Open Water Swimming (5Km), Aquathlon, Karate Individual Kata, Beach Wrestling, Beach Tennis, Beach Soccer, Beach Handball, Beach Volleyball, Bouldering, Skateboarding, Waterski Jump and Wakeboard all expecting world-class fields.