With sun, sea and sand of Katara Beach in Doha as a magnificent setting, the first medals of the ANOC World Beach Games were handed out Sunday.
Marcello Guidi of Italy earned the first gold medal of the Games as he won the men’s 5km Open water competition. The Italian won a thrilling race in 55 minutes 25 seconds, with Denis Adeev of Russia finishing runner-up just a second behind. Bronze went to Germany's Soeren Meissner in 55:28 secs.
"I'm very happy for this race because it's my first gold medal in an international swimming race. Now I've concluded my season with a good feeling...I feel more confident from this race. At the end, I stayed in the first position, and in the final 40 metres I sprinted and touched first. It's very important and good for me," Guidi said.
Medals award ceremony for the Women's Swimming Open Water 5km event at Katara Beach. 1st: Ana De Jesus Soares (Brazil) - 2nd: Yawen Hou (China) - 3rd: Leonie Beck (Germany)
Sanchez Jaime Sandra of Spain - gold medal in women’s beach Karate Kata event
Quintero Capdevila Damian Hugo of Spain - gold medal in Karate Kata
The women’s gold in Open Water was won by Ana De Jesus Soares of Brazil in 59:51 secs. She finished a second ahead of China’s Hou Yawen, with Germany’s Leonie Beck takin bronze, just two seconds behind the winner.
"I'm feeling very good. I can't explain it. When you start the Beach Games and you win the first gold medal in history, it's amazing. I never imagined this," Soares said.
On her race strategy, the Brazlian added: "I tried to swim a little more comfortably with fewer strokes. All the time, I swam in front of the group because I know the other girls are very fast because they swim the 5k in a swimming pool. At the end, I pushed as hard as I could."
In the first major karate tournament held on sand, Spain's karatekas dominated the rest of the field to win gold in both the men's and women's Individual finals after three gruelling rounds of competition at Katara Beach.
World No 1 Sandra Sanchez continued her dominance by defeating Fatemeh Sadeghi of Iran in the final with a powerful ‘Suparinpei’ 26.28 to 24.60. The bronze medals went to Maria Dimitrova of Dominican Republic and Mo Lau of Hong Kong.
On the men's side, World No 2 Damian Quintero's outplayed Chinese Taipei's Yi Wang with a score of 26.40 to 24.94 to claim gold. Venezuela's Antonio Diaz and Gakuji Tozaki of the USA took home bronze medals.