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Big time sporting action keeping Qatar residents spellbound

Big time sporting action keeping Qatar residents spellbound

Vinay Nayudu
Doha
If you are an early riser, chances are that you may have seen some attractive sporting activity on the oceanfront at Leqtaifiya Lagoon overlooking The Pearl-Qatar in Doha.
With Qatar hosting the inaugural edition of the Association of National Olympic Committees – ANOC World Beach Games 2019, the waterski and wakeboard events (with motorboats towing athletes) and kitefoil racing (with umbrellas in the air making one glide over the waters) have been providing a colourful skyline besides enthralling competition of late.
Similarly, the evenings see fans flocking the beachside stadiums at Katara and Al Gharafa Club to watch beach soccer, handball, volleyball and basketball contests.
The 13-discipline and six-day-long Games are a big attraction for GenNext and as such their launch in Qatar is being highly appreciated.
“On the waters, or on sand on the beach, these sports are so very exciting and my kids are totally enjoying,” said an enthusiast mother Marie Joe. “We are also keen to go and watch the skateboarding final at Aspire tomorrow,” she added.
A sports lover herself, Joe said her children have taken to sports big time since the world gymnastics championships which were held in Doha last October. “We saw the wonder gymnast Simone Biles in action and since then we have been going to almost all major sports events,” she said.
Of course, this included the recently-held IAAF World Athletics Championships at the Khalifa International Stadium. With the national pride Mutaz Essa Barshim performing incredible high jumps on his way to gold, a packed stadium and over 2.5 million Qatar residents, and more overseas, were left ecstatic.
While the athletics worlds kick-started this year’s big action, the World Beach Games are only adding to the excitement.
Also awaiting fans on Tuesday evening is a big football contest between Qatar and Oman at the marvellous Al Janoub Stadium. The FIFA 2022 World Cup and AFC Asian Cup 2023 qualifier is also expected to draw a full house.
Soon after, the Qatar Stars League football action continues.
Later next week, the mega MotoGP stars will arrive in Qatar for the 2019 World Superbike Championship to be held from October 24 to 26 at the Losail Circuit Sports Club.
This will be followed by the FINA Swimming World Cup in Doha (Nov 7 to 9), the FIFA Club World Cup (Dec 11-21) and Gulf Cup football (Nov 27-Dec 9) leading to Qatar’s own celebration of its National Sport Day on December 18.
That’ll not be all; big-time tennis shall be back again towards the year-end and will usher in the New Year at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex.
When it comes to sports, the action is virtually non-stop in Qatar, which only highlights the fact that the country is a major sporting capital of the world.
“In many countries you wait for top-class sporting action to happen. In Qatar, it is the other way round. You need to find more time to catch up with so much sports action all around,” quipped Umesh Sharma, a sports enthusiast.

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