Seychelles won 28 gold medals at the last Games in Mauritius in 2019. (Seychelles News Agency)
(Seychelles News Agency) – The organisers of the 11th edition of the Indian Ocean Island Games (IOIG) remain confident that the event will go ahead in Madagascar in August as planned.
The president of the International Games Committee (CIJ), Antonio Gopal, said: “I have just recently spoken to both the Minister for Sports and the President of Madagascar, who both assured me that the games will go ahead as planned.”
In a recent article published by Reunion 1ere, on May 2, there was conflicting view on whether or not the games as there were conflicting views from the president of the Olympic Committee of Madagascar and the country’s Minister for Youth and Sports.
“Uncertainty still hangs over the future of the Island Games which are due to be held from 23 August to 3 September. The president of the Olympic Committee of Madagascar estimates the chances of the Games taking place at 2 percent. The Minister of Youth and Sports says that 98 percent, if not 100 percent of the IOG will take place,” said the article.
Gopal, who is also the president of the Seychelles Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association, remains confident that the games will go ahead.
He told SNA that in the unlikely event that Madagascar cannot host the games, then another country will have to take on the hosting duties and the games will likely be postponed up until 2025.
Meanwhile, another article on Reunion 1ere on May 4 said that “The President of the Malagasy Republic, Andry Rajoelina, candidate to his succession, has just broken his silence on the subject of the Island Games which are due to take place from 23 August to 3 September 2023 on the Big Island.”
It added that “With three months to go, President Andry Rajoelina has asked officials in the Ministry of Sports to roll up their sleeves to meet the deadline.”
The 2023 games are scheduled to take place in Madagascar from August 23 to September 3 and some of the main issues are whether or not the renovation of certain facilities will be done in time.
The IOIG is a muti-sport event that takes place every four years for athletes from the Indian Ocean Islands. For the 11th edition, 23 sporting disciplines are on the programmes with the participation of over 2,000 athletes.
They are athletics (track and field – handi-sport), badminton, basketball (3×3 and 5×5), boxing, cycling, equestrian, football, beach soccer, weightlifting, handball, judo, karate, kickboxing, wrestling, swimming (handi-sport), petanque, rugby (7×7 and 15×15), taekwondo, archery, tennis, table tennis, yachting, volleyball, beach volleyball, and surfing.
Mauritius, Seychelles, Comoros, Madagascar, Mayotte, Reunion and the Maldives are the regular participants in the games, with Mauritius, the previous hosts, claiming the most gold medals in the 2019 games.