The host city contract for the 2023 Mediterranean Beach Games in Crete has been officially signed ©ICMG

Crete capital Heraklion and the Hellenic Olympic Committee (HOC) have officially signed the host city contract for the 2023 Mediterranean Beach Games.

Newly elected International Committee of the Mediterranean Games (ICMG) President Davide Tizzano was joined by Spyros Capralos, head of the HOC, and Lefteris Avgenakis, Greece’s Deputy Minister of Culture and Sports for the ceremony staged on the eve of the Association of National Olympic Committees General Assembly, due to start here tomorrow.

The Mayors of Heraklion, Vassilis Lambrinos and Malevizi, Menelaos Bokeas and the Deputy Mayor of Hersonissos Konstantinos Anastasakis were also present for the signing for the Games due to take place between September 2 and 9 in 2023.

"This is the second time that the Mediterranean Beach Games will be held in Greece, and I am glad that they are back," Tizzano said.

"There is the right infrastructure to develop perfect sports facilities and I am sure that the Games will be successful.

"I would like to thank HOC, also the Mayors and to congratulate the Deputy Minister for the warm welcome, the effort and for his support in the organisation.

"Crete, your homeland, your culture, is also our culture and our homeland and I am sure that everyone who will participate in the Mediterranean Beach Games of Heraklion is going to feel it."

Organisers of the 2023 Mediterranean Beach Games in Crete are hoping that up to 1,500 competitors could part in the event ©ICMG
Organisers of the 2023 Mediterranean Beach Games in Crete are hoping that up to 1,500 competitors could part in the event ©ICMG

The previous edition of the Mediterranean Beach Games also took place in Greece, when they were staged in Patras in 2019.

The event featured 700 athletes from 26 countries taking part in 11 sports.

Heraklion is proposing more than double that number of athletes with 1,500 competitors in 13 sports.

It is planned to hold six disciplines on Karteros beach - beach volleyball, beach football, beach handball, beach tennis, wrestling and karate.

Ammoudara beach is set to stage rowing, canoeing and kite surfing, while Mallia beach is scheduled to host open water swimming, water skiing and triathlon.

The final venue is due to be the Heraklion Lido and it will stage technical swimming.

The Opening Ceremony is scheduled at Pankritio Stadium, which hosted football matches during the 2004 Olympic Games staged in Athens, and the Closing Ceremony at Stadium of Liberty.

"Another great international event is coming to our country, this time in well known for his hospitality Crete and I am sure that this one, mainly because it will be held in Crete, will be very successful," Capralos said.

"Crete has produced many great athletes and even now, in the Tokyo Olympics team and such events further help in the production and development of new athletes.

"The ICMG and HOC philosophy is to introduce less popular sports, to our youth and also to the general public and these Games will help in this direction."