Thousands prepare for Beach Games hinh anh 1Beach volleyball is one of 14 sports in the fifth Asian Beach Games (Source: VNA)
The central city of Da Nang started the final countdown for the fifth Asian Beach Games (ABG5), which starts a year from September 24.

The biggest beach sport game will hold a competition in the city from September 24 to October 3 in 2016.

The event's organising committee told reporters at a press conference on September 23 that the game would draw 10,000 participants. About 3,100 athletes and 1,500 coaches from 45 countries and territories would compete in 14 sports with 22 events for 165 medal sets.

"The biennial games will be a good chance for Vietnam to show off its power in sport and tourism potential," said Vietnam Sports Administration Head Vuong Bich Thang.

Thang said the games would promote the city's tourism industry and build links with destinations and friends from Asia. Athletes in Asia would be playing at one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, My Khe Beach.

City Culture, Sports and Tourism Department Vice Chairman Nguyen Phuc Linh said the host created an advantage for participating teams at the games with all the city's venues, accommodations and roads nearby.

"Main coastal roads will link beach venues and hotels, and players do not need to take much time travelling," Linh said. "They will also find the best destinations nearby, including Ngu Hanh Son (Marble Mountain), Son Tra Mountain and Hoi An running along the main road."

According to the National Steering Committee of ABG5, Da Nang was chosen by the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) to host the biggest continental beach games next year.

Thang, who is deputy head of the organising committee, said most of sports would be played at 5,000m-long beaches in Son Tra and Ngu Hanh Son districts.

Events will include marathon swimming, water polo, kabaddi, men's beach football, volleyball, handball, three-a-side basketball, sepak takraw (rattan-ball kicking), beach martial arts (wrestling, sambo, jujitsu, kurash, pencak silat, vovinam, muay Thai and Vietnamese traditional martial arts), shuttlecock kicking, petanque (iron ball bowling), bodybuilding, bowles (wooden ball), rowing and athletics.

The ABG5 logo (a sand and wave figure) and its mascot (a swallow, a popular bird in the central region) have been approved by OCA.

The East Sea Park will host the opening and closing ceremonies, as well as the main sports.

In a previous competition in Thailand two years ago, Thailand was crowned overall Asian Beach Games Champion for the second time.

Vietnam finished in fifth place, their most successful Games campaign in history, with eight gold, 12 silver and 20 bronze medals.

The fifth Asian Beach Games will be the first time the country hosts the Games, a multi-sport Asian-level competition, after hosting the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in 2009 and the ASEAN-level competition in the 2003 Southeast Asian Games.-VNA