San Diego set to host the inaugural ANOC World Beach Games in 2017 ©Getty Images

San Diego in the United States is poised to be awarded the inaugural Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) World Beach Games in 2017, with a final decision set to be made here later this week.

The Californian city is one of five to have bid for the Games, along with fellow American candidate Sarasota in Florida, as well as Sochi, Dubai and an unnamed city from China.

ANOC President Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah told insidethegames today, however, only one city will be put forward to a vote held during the body's General Assembly on Thursday and Friday (October 29 and 30), with the Events Working Group having recommended San Diego today.

The ANOC Executive Council meeting, due to take place here tomorrow, is expected to endorse San Diego as the preferred bidder. 

"Today, the Events Commission approved the Games," Sheikh Ahmad said.

"I will try to put one name forward to the General Assembly. 

"San Diego will be the city."

Located 120 miles to the south of 2024 Olympics and Paralympics contender Los Angeles, San Diego appears the most organised of the five candidates, with a website having been set up, accessible here, to publicise the bid.

The city claims to be "at the epicentre of beach, surf and extreme sports culture" with the "natural capacity, strong infrastructure and athletic tradition to successfully host the first ever ANOC World Beach Games".

The Beach Games  is expected to take place after the IOC vote on the 2024 Games in September 2017 in Lima, Peru, so as not to cause any potential problems with Los Angeles' bid. 

San Diego's website showcasing its bid for the 2017 ANOC World Beach Games ©San Diego 2017
San Diego's website showcasing its bid for the 2017 ANOC World Beach Games ©San Diego 2017

Between 20 and 22 sports are expected to be held at the Games, Sheikh Ahmad revealed, with a final decision to be based on discussions between ANOC and the selected host city.

Skateboarding, surfing and sport climbing - the three youth orientated disciplines also proposed for inclusion at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics - are among those under consideration, while Esports is also being considered.

This is likely predominantly due to the fact Sony USA is based in San Diego.

The Beach Games was originally launched as a joint project between ANOC and SportAccord in October 2013, but has been increasingly seen as a personal priority of ANOC President Sheikh Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah.

The idea came out of the success of the Asian Beach Games, the continental event first held in Bali, Indonesia in 2008. 

But relations between the two bodies deteriorated earlier this year when former SportAccord President Marius Vizer awarded Sochi the inaugural edition without participation from ANOC,  although the Russian coastal resort withdrew soon ahead of Vizer's resignation.

ANOC are now taking sole control of the event, which is called the ANOC World Beach Games rather than just the World Beach Games due to SportAccord having trademarked the latter name.

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Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah (left) has made launching the ANOC World Beach Games a priority of his Presidencyand the first edition in 2017 is set to be awarded to San Diego ©Getty Images

Earlier this year, it appeared unlikely a global host would be selected anytime soon, with only conceptual discussions having taken place

In recent months, though, there has been a clear drive to speed up the process, with a Working Group chaired by Hong Kong's Timothy Fok having held its first meeting at the end of June. 

Letters were then sent out to all National Olympic Committees inviting applications to host the event ahead of a deadline of July 31, with an Evaluation Process having since taken place.


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July 2015:
 Fifteen sports to feature at first ANOC World Beach Games as host city application process opens
June 2015: Exclusive: ANOC Beach Games to bear no relation to SportAccord version
April 2015: World Beach Games to be organised by SportAccord in Sochi in 2019
January 2015: World Beach Games to have additional shareholders beyond ANOC and SportAccord
November 2014: Exclusive: World Beach Games will occupy unique place on sports calendar, promises Sheikh Ahmad