Up to 1,500 athletes from eight small European countries are expected to compete in the 13th Games of the Small States of Europe (GSSE), to be held in Cyprus on June1-6, said the event's Cypriot organizers on Monday.
Athletes representing Andorra, Cyprus, Iceland, Lichtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Malta and San Marino will take part in the biyearly sports event.
They will compete in 12 sports, including athletics, basketball, beach volleyball, gymnastics, judo, mountain bike, sailing, shooting, swimming, table tennis, tennis and volleyball.
Ouranios Ioannides, President of the GSSE Organizing Committee and Chairman of the Cyprus Olympic Committee, told Cyprus News Agency that the preparations are almost complete.
He said that all venues are ready except the swimming pool in the southern coastal city of Limassol, which will be completed within this month.
"We have reached the point where we are receiving preliminary applications of participants," said Ioannides.
Cyprus will invite the President of the International Olympic Committee, Jacques Rogge, as well as leaders of the other seven participating countries to the eastern Mediterranean island state for the event.
According to Ioannides, the International Fair Play Committee will convene during the games to present the European Fair Play awards.
The GSSE Organizing Committee estimates the cost at 1.5 million euros for all events.
The first GSSE was held in San Marino in 1985. All the participating countries must have a population of under one million and have an autonomous National Olympic Committee that is recognized by the International Olympic Committee.