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UPCOMING OLYMPIC GAMES

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San Diego's hosting of the inaugural Association of National Olympic Committes (ANOC) World Beach Games has been pushed back two years from 2017 to 2019, it was announced here today following an ANOC Executive Council meeting.

This decision has been taken in order to allow NOCs and International Federations "optimum time to prepare their athletes" for the event.

San Diego was unanimously chosen as host at last year's ANOC General Assembly in Washington D.C. after the timetable had been rapidly accelerated earlier in the year.

But progress has been slow in the intervening months, insidethegames understands, particularly surrounding the marketing and financing of the event.

A statement claimed that while "excellent progress" has been made over the last eight months, and San Diego is "in a position to deliver the event in 2017," it was "mutually agreed that postponing the event would be to the benefit of all stakeholders".

The Californian city will also host the 2019 ANOC General Assembly; something that has placed "additional hosting requirements" on the city.

"After careful consideration, the ANOC Executive Council, with the support of San Diego, has taken the decision to move the first edition of the ANOC World Beach Games to 2019," said ANOC President Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah following the meeting.

"We are committed to working with all our stakeholders to deliver the best possible event which will benefit the NOCs, their athletes and the entire Olympic Movement and we believe that moving the event to 2019 will allow us to do that.

"The ANOC World Beach Games is part of ANOC's long-term vision to enhance the support and opportunities we can provide NOCs and their athletes, particularly around engaging more young people in sport.

"Moving the event to 2019 will not just benefit NOCs and their athletes but by giving them more time to prepare for the event we can guarantee that millions of spectators around the world will enjoy and be inspired by even greater performances."

It is hoped that all 206 global NOCs will compete in the Beach Games.

Up to 2,500 athletes are also expected to participate.

"We fully support the decision to move the ANOC World Beach Games to 2019 to give NOCs and athletes more time to prepare for the event," added Organising Committee chairman Vincent E. Mudd.

"As the hosts of the first edition, it is important that we set the benchmark for all future editions.

"We are fortunate in San Diego to have some of the most iconic beaches in the world and we have no doubt they will provide a breath-taking setting for the first ever ANOC World Beach Games in 2019.

"We look forward to welcoming the world to our city for an unforgettable and unique sporting experience."

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