The dates for the 11th edition of the Indian Ocean Island Games (IOIG) have been set. The Games will take place in Madagascar from August 25 to September 3, 2023 and Seychellois athletes must take part in 16 of the 23 disciplines selected.
The guest of honor of these 11th JIOI in Madagascar will be Thomas Bach, the president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) had specified the president of the Malagasy Olympic Committee (COM), Siteny Randrianasoloniaiko.
These decisions were taken during the second meeting of the International Games Council (ICJ) which took place at the Novotel Ivandry hotel, in Madagascar from December 14 to 16, 2022. Seven member countries of the CIJ met during these three days of assembly chaired by the president of the CIJ, the Seychellois Antonio Gopal.
Miss Elsia Vidot, member of the National Olympic Committee of Seychelles, and Mr. Alain Alcindor, the secretary general of this institution also attended the deliberations. Being an employee of the National Sports Council, Mr. Alcindor was also the representative of the government.
“The State, through the Ministry of Youth and Sports (MJS), has sent an official letter to the COM and the CIJ mentioning the confirmation of the holding of the games in Madagascar in 2023”, declared Jean Alex Harinelina Randriamanarivo, general secretary of COM.
Normally, there should be two more CIJ meetings this year before the Games.
23 disciplines selected
For this 11th edition of the JIOI, the 23 disciplines, including two Paralympic events for the disabled and adapted sport in athletics and swimming, proposed during the first meeting in January 2022, have all been selected for the 10 days of competition.
They are: athletics including disabled sports (men/women), badminton (men/women), basketball 3×3 and 5×5 (men/women), boxing (men/women), cycling (men) , horse riding (men/women), football (men/women) and beach soccer (men), weightlifting (men/women), handball (men/women), judo (men/women), karate (men/women), kick-boxing (men/women), wrestling (men/women), swimming including disabled sports (men/women), pétanque (men/women), rugby 7 and 15 (men/women), taekwondo (men/women), archery (men/women), tennis (men/women), table tennis (men/women), sailing (men /women), volleyball (men/women) and beach volleyball (men/women), and surfing (men).
The six new disciplines making their debut at the Island Games are archery, beach soccer, equestrian sport, 3×3 basketball, kickboxing and surfing.
There are also four demonstration disciplines namely fencing, teqball, motor sport and billiards.
Seychelles will participate in athletics including disabled sports (men/women), badminton (men/women), basketball 3×3 and 5×5 (men/women), boxing (men/women), cycling (men ), football (men/women) and beach soccer (men), weightlifting (men/women), handball (men/women), judo (men/women), karate (men/women), swimming including disabled sports (men/women), petanque (men/women), tennis (men/women), table tennis (men/women), sailing (men/women), volleyball ( men/women) and beach volleyball (men/women).
Note that a discipline is maintained if at least three countries are engaged.
Five cities will host the games including Antananarivo, Toamasina, Mahajanga, Taolagnaro and Sainte-Marie for the 23 disciplines.
In total, six gymnasiums will be dedicated to the competitions among others the Mahamasina Sports Palace, the gymnasiums of Ankorondrano, Ankatso, Ampefiloha and Vontovorona which all require rehabilitation. These sites are all located in Antananarivo. Furthermore, swimming should take place in Antananarivo, Toamasina or Mahajanga and surfing in Tolagnaro.
CIJ members visited venues in Mahajanga, including the new 4,000-seat gymnasium under construction, the Olympic swimming pool and the sports complex gymnasium in addition to the tourist village beach.
Seven countries have confirmed their commitment, namely Madagascar, Reunion, Mauritius, Mayotte, the Comoros, the Seychelles and the Maldives and will be there.
In total, nearly 4 thousand athletes are expected in Madagascar for the Games and this is the first time that such a high number of athletes will participate in the JIOI. This is justified by the number of disciplines selected which are 23 in number.
Madagascar, Reunion, Mauritius and the Seychelles will engage more than 800 athletes in addition to those from the Comoros, Mayotte and the Maldives.
The delegations will be accommodated in starred hotels in the capital and other host cities and not in a Games village as was the case during the last Island Games in Mauritius in 2019.
It should be noted that Madagascar’s candidacy had been selected for the organization of these Games during the second virtual meeting of the CIJ held on Sunday, December 6, 2020.
Representatives from Madagascar, Mauritius, Comoros, Mayotte, Seychelles, Maldives and Reunion took part in this virtual meeting.
This decision followed the withdrawal of the Maldives in mid-October 2020 for the organization of the 11th edition of these Games.
It should be noted that the Maldives had announced on October 20 that they could not host the 11th Indian Ocean Island Games (IOIG) in 2023 due to their inability to meet the budget and had proposed an organization in 2025. But the Maldives did not get a favorable response from the CIJ. The Minister of Sports of the Maldives had therefore made amends by saying that he was not against another country recovering the organization.
Madagascar had therefore officially launched its candidacy to resume the organization of these Games in 2023.
Note that Madagascar had already organized the 1990 and 2007 editions.
Source: Seychelles Nation