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President Solih backs Maldives' bid to host 2023 Indian Ocean Island Games

27 February 2019, MVT 18:55
President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih (R) Secretary-General of the Maldives Olympic Committee (MOC) Ahmed Marzook (R)and PHOTO: PRESIDENT'S OFFICE
27 February 2019, MVT 18:55

Secretary-General of the Maldives Olympic Committee (MOC), Ahmed Marzook, revealed that President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih gave the green light to bid for the 2023 Indian Ocean Island Games (IOIG) to be held in Maldives.

The Tourism Minister of Mauritius officially invited President Solih to attend the IOIG, which is to be held in Mauritius from July 19 - 28. Maldives is participating in 10 events at this year’s Games.

The government approved the request of the MOC after meeting the members of the committee at the President’s Office on Tuesday. President Solih approved the proposal to host the 2023 IOIG in Maldives and held further discussions on the topic.

Marzook stated that the Olympic committee requested to form a separate committee to scrutinise the existing facilities in Maldives and to understand which else needed to be established before proposing an acceptable bid for 2023.

“I believe if we hosted the games, to benefit everyone we need to modernise the equipment and get the chance to establish the facilities that we are currently in need of,” said Marzook.

Maldives backed to host this year’s IOIG in 2015. However, the plan failed due to the shortage of time and the lack of support from the then government.

The IOIG is a multi-sport event created by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1997 and it is held every four years among athletes from the Indian Ocean island nations. The games currently gather the island nations of Mauritius, Seychelles, Comoros, Madagascar, Mayotte, Réunion and Maldives.

Hassan Saaid was the first Maldivian athlete to win a gold medal in the IOIG in 2015. He completed the 100-meter race in 10.51 seconds.

In addition, Maldives brought home several medals in badminton and table tennis as well.

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