DOHA – Climbers Miho Nonaka and Kai Harada gave Japan two bouldering golds Monday at the inaugural World Beach Games, an international beach multisport event organized by the Association of National Olympic Committees.
Keita Watabe, meanwhile, finished behind Harada for the men’s silver, raising the medal hopes of the host country of the 2020 Tokyo Games, when sport climbing will make its Olympic debut along with skateboarding, surfing, karate and baseball/softball.
“I’m glad I won the first gold medal for the Japan national team,” said Nonaka, the only finalist in the six-women field to master all four problems.
“I focused on each problem. Climbing in hot weather at an outdoor venue is good practice for the Tokyo Olympics,” she said.
Elsewhere in Doha, 2018 world champion Sakura Yosozumi and Kihana Ogawa continued Japan’s skateboarding success with gold and silver, respectively, in the women’s park competition held at Aspire Park.
The Japan men’s beach soccer team dropped its group-stage match against Russia 6-5, failing to advance to the semifinals.
Over 1,200 athletes from 97 countries are competing in 14 disciplines across 13 sports at the ANOC World Beach Games held between Oct. 12 and Oct. 17. Overall, 350 medals will be contested in the first edition of the World Beach Games.
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