Men’s football is among the 17 sports disciplines for the Games in Madagascar. (Seychelles Nation)
The 2023 Indian Ocean Island Games (IOIG) scheduled for August 23 to September in Madagascar will now feature 17 sporting disciplines instead of 23, said a top official on Friday.
The president of the International Games Committee (CIJ), Antonio Gopal, told reporters that “these changes have come about due to the hosts feeling that with the number of disciplines and with the delays they have had, it could be too many to do.”
The 17 disciplines confirmed for the games are athletics, badminton, basketball (5×5) and (3×3), men’s boxing, men’s cycling, men’s football, weightlifting, handball, judo, karate, wrestling, swimming, petanque, rugby (7×7), tennis, table tennis, tennis and volleyball.
Those that have been removed are archery, taekwondo, women’s boxing, yachting, surfing and equestrian.
Gopal said that the Games Committee has asked for the inclusion of two other sports, namely yachting and beach volleyball, but discussions are still ongoing.
For the participation of Seychelles, Seychellois athletes will compete in 16 of the 17 sporting disciplines. The island nation will not take part in wrestling, which is a sport not practiced in Seychelles.
According to the representative of the Seychelles Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association (SOCGA), Alain Alcindor, Seychelles will have a delegation of about 575 for the games.
“This will comprise of 400 athletes out of whom 225 are men and 155 are women,” said Alcindor
He said that this could change if the two other sports events awaiting a decision for inclusion are added.
Businesses in Seychelles are being urged to contribute towards the games, but support will be provided to the delegation.
Gopal, who along with a delegation from the Games Committee and representative from participating nations visited Madagascar recently, was given assurances that the games will go ahead as planned.
It was confirmed that most of the events at the games, will take place in and around the capital city of Antananarivo. This will help make things easier for all involved, as there will not be long distances to travel.
The IOIG is a multi-sport event that takes place every four years for athletes from the Indian Ocean Islands.
Mauritius, Seychelles, Comoros, Madagascar, Mayotte, Reunion and the Maldives are the regular participants in the games. Mauritius, the previous hosts, claimed the most gold medals in the 2019 games.