Jakarta (ANTARA) - Chair of the Indonesian National Olympic Committee (NOC) Raja Sapta Oktohari said the 2nd ANOC World Beach Games (AWBG) in Bali this year can attract the younger generation's interest in beach sports.

"The sports branches that are competed are new to us, but they will be very interesting and can become new popular sports in Indonesia, because beach sports has a fun sport concept," Oktohari said here on Sunday.

The 2023 AWBG in Bali will be held on August 5-12 and feature 14 sports, including the 5 km open water swimming, beach water polo, beach soccer, beach handball, individual karate kata, kite foil, beach tennis, aquathlon, beach volleyball 4x4, beach wrestling, basketball 3x3, AirBadminton, sprint rowing, and surfing.

"We know how much interest Indonesians have in badminton. Well, now there is a similar one called the AirBadminton," he mentioned.

He explained, AirBadminton is played outdoors and requires three players in each team.

"This can become a new favorite sport among the younger generation. Of course, the appearance of our athletes as local heroes are expected to increase public interest in trying this new sport," he said.

In addition to AirBadminton, he said, there is another huge potential in beach sports such as surfing, where Indonesia has a champion named Rio Waida.

"We see how the popularity of surfing has increased after the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. We have the champion, originally from Bali, Rio Waida, who can definitely enliven the popularity of this sport," Oktohari said.

At least 1,500 athletes from more than 130 countries are expected to participate in the 2nd AWBG, after undergoing a rigorous qualification process until July 2023.

After AWBG, Bali will welcome 205 delegates including officials from the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), and International Sports Federations at the ANOC General Assembly on August 13-15.

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Translator: Arnidhya Z, Kenzu
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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