Preparations are continuing for the third edition of the European Games ©EOC

Finalising the host city contract and sport programme for the Krakow Małopolska 2023 European Games were cited as key to accelerating preparations for the third edition of the multi-sport event.

The two tasks were identified by Polish Olympic Committee vice-president Tomasz Poręba, a representative of the third European Games Management Board, during the EOC’s virtual General Assembly.

Poland was selected as the third host in June 2019 after the Krakow and Małopolska region bid was the only application.

The host city contract is yet to be finalised but Poręba said he expects this to be completed in the coming months, while a new law is expected to help the organisation of the Games.

“We are working on the host city contract, the first draft was distributed between organisers,” Poręba said.

“It is expected this will be signed in the upcoming months.

“We also expect to have final confirmation of the sport venues, which is crucial.

“Together with the Polish Government we are going to prepare a special bill, dedicated to the Games, which will accelerate the preparation of the Games.

“There will be a lot of legal recommendations which will help to organise the events.

“We ask the EOC to confirm the list of sports and sport disciplines for the Games, including the accompanying disciplines which will help push forward our plans.”

Krakow is expected to host the majority of events at the Games ©Polish Olympic Committee
Krakow is expected to host the majority of events at the Games ©Polish Olympic Committee

A preliminary sport programme was published by the EOC in September.

Ski jumping, mountain running and rugby sevens were among eye-catching additions, with the sports expected to make their Games debut alongside beach handball, breaking, modern pentathlon, sport climbing and weightlifting.

The programme also included archery, badminton, basketball 3x3, fencing, gymnastics, judo, karate, shooting, table tennis, triathlon and wrestling.

Canoe sprint and slalom events are included, along with volleyball and beach volleyball.

Mountain bike and road cycling competitions are also expected to feature, as well as artistic swimming.

The EOC said at the time that the list was subject to final negotiations with each of the European and International Federations.

A key part of the selection criteria was whether the sports will use the European Games as their continental championships and/or offer qualification for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

A progress update from the Polish Olympic Committee also listed chess, electric trial, kickboxing, muaythai, and teqball as sports.

It is unclear whether these would feature on the Games programme or be demonstration events.

Organisers say they plan to create four zones to host events at the Games, with the majority centred in Krakow.

Archery, artistic swimming, basketball 3x3, breaking, chess, fencing, canoeing, muaythai, modern pentathlon, road cycling, rugby sevens, shooting, teqball, volleyball, weightlifting and wrestling would be based in Krakow.

Venues would include the Suche Stawy Sport Hall for breaking and wrestling, the Academy of Physical Education for fencing and modern pentathlon, and the Kolna Sport and Recreation Centre for canoeing and shooting.

The Polish Olympic Committee published a list of sports and their locations at the Games ©Polish Olympic Committee
The Polish Olympic Committee published a list of sports and their locations at the Games ©Polish Olympic Committee

Osiek Village is expected to be the base for the road cycling events, while the Meadow of Zabierezow and the H. Reyman City Stadium have been earmarked as venues for archery and teqball, respectively.

A new swimming pool is reportedly being contrasted and would host artistic swimming, while the weightlifting and muaythai events would be staged in a new sports hall.

The city of Tarnów has been earmarked to host four sports, with badminton, beach volleyball and beach handball expected to take place at the Jaskółka Arena.

Sport climbing events would be held at the Tarnów Sport and Recreation Centre.

Zakopane would host archery, gymnastics, table tennis and triathlon events, while its ski jumping hill would also be used.

The town of Krynica-Zdrój is expected to host six competitions, with its Ice Arena holding judo, karate and kickboxing.

Parkowa Hill would be the home of mountain bike, electric trial and mountain running competitions.

Organisers say the maximum travel time between the four cities will be two hours, with rail connections between each.

A wide range of accommodation options are claimed to be available.

Two Athletes Villages are expected, with one based in Krakow and the other in Zakopane.