Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and President of International Olympic Committee (IOC) Jacques Rogge officially opened the 17th Mediterranean Games in Mersin Stadium.
- Athletes enter Mersin stadium during the Opening Ceremony of 17th Mediterranean Games Athletes enter Mersin stadium during the Opening Ceremony of 17th Mediterranean Games
- The Opening Ceremony of the 17th Mediterranean Games in Mersin The Opening Ceremony of the 17th Mediterranean Games in Mersin
Twenty-five thousand spectators gathered to watch the Opening Ceremony in the brand new Mersin stadium – one of 38 newly built or renovated venues delivered by TOKI. TOKI, the powerful delivery agency that would be responsible for the construction of all Istanbul 2020’s Games venues, successfully compressed a six-year construction programme into just 18 months, after Mersin stepped in to replace the Greek city of Volos less than two years ago. Mersin 2013 is set to be the biggest Mediterranean Games in history, with a record participation of around 6,000 athletes from 24 countries.
“Watching the Opening Ceremony today demonstrated how much this country can achieve when we are united behind a common goal. In just 18 months, TOKI has delivered what would normally take six years to deliver. TOKI has a proven track record, building 60,000 houses a year — the equivalent of an Olympic Village every quarter. With TOKI’s proven expertise and the finance and governance guarantees provided by our Olympic Law, the Olympic family can be assured that if Istanbul is awarded the honour of hosting the 2020 Games, we will deliver technically excellent venues on schedule in an environmentally responsible way” said President of the Turkish National Olympic Committee, Professor Uğur Erdener.
The event comes during a busy time in Turkey’s sports calendar: just last week, Turkey hosted Stage 2 of the Archery World Cup and the ITU European Triathlon Championships which both finished on Sunday in Antalya and Alanya respectively. Tomorrow, the FIFA Under-20 World Cup will kick-off in Turkey with the opening matches, in Istanbul and Kayseri, reinforcing the country’s increasingly prominent position in the world of sport.