Mediterranean Games see fierce competition

Mediterranean Games see fierce competition

MERİN - Anatolia News Agency
Mediterranean Games see fierce competition

The file photo shows players from the Albanian and Turkish teams during their face-off at the Mediterrean Games. AA Photo

The 17th Mediterranean Games have begun in Turkey‘s southern province of Mersin with uphill competitions between ambitious teams as the opening ceremony was held yesterday with scheduled attendance of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at the main stadium, the Mersin Olympic Stadium in Yenişehir district.

While matches started in the football, basketball and water polo categories, games in other nine categories – boxing, artistic gymnastics, weight lifting, judo, rowing, taekwondo, volleyball, sailing and swimming – are set to begin today.

The Turkish men’s basketball team is set to play against Macedonia in today’s semifinals for leadership in group A, after winning its first two games against Algeria and Egypt. Macedonia’s team defeated its previous rivals as Turkey did. Serbia will also face the Tunisian team in the group B semifinal.

In the football category, four games will be played on June 21 in groups A and B. Turkey’s national under-19 football team has its second game in group A against Morocco at 9:45 p.m., after defeating Albania 2-0. Group A’s other game will be played between Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina as Italy-Macedonia and Tunisia-Libya matches will be held in group B during the day.

Meanwhile, Turkey’s first match in the water polo category group B will take place against Spain’s team, which was defeated by Croatia 8-7. In group A, leader Greece will play against France while the group’s second team, Italy, will face Serbia.

24 countries, 6,000 sportsmen

Turkey is hosting the Mediterranean Games for the second time in its history with the participation of about 6,000 sportsmen from 32 different branches and 24 countries.

The participating nations include Algeria, Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Greek Cyprus, Egypt, France, Greece, Italy, Lebanon, Libya, Malta, FYR Macedonia, Monaco, Montenegro and Turkey.

The southern province of Mersin, which is the homeland of the nearly extinct loggerhead sea turtle and a place where Cleopatra once sunbathed, hosts a cut-throat competition between the sportsmen, who gather under the slogan of “three continents, one heart.” The games, which coincide with Istanbul’s candidacy for the 2020 Olympic Games, bear importance since they could be regarded as a rehearsal for the Olympics.