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Exclusive interview with Antonio Gopal, president of the Games International Committee (CIJ) |31 August 2023

Exclusive interview with Antonio Gopal, president of the Games International Committee (CIJ)

Mr Gopal answering journalist Roland Duval’s questions

‘The Games are going well despite several hiccups which are normal’


The 11th Indian Ocean Islands Games are progressing well despite several minor hiccups which are normal and present at every major games, has stated the president of the Games’ International Committee, Seychellois Antonio Gopal in a press interview.

Mr Gopal said they have received many complaints from mostly all delegations, but everything has been resolved, and now the competitions are going on very well, as planned.

In terms of the level and performance of the 11th Games, Mr Gopal explained that they are of high quality, with a lot of good athletes who are well trained.

He, however, noted that the level of Team Seychelles has considerably gone down, while all of the other countries have shown signs of great improvements.

This, Mr Gopal said, is based on poor preparations on behalf of the Seychelles sporting federations and associations.

Another factor causing the slow performance is the chosen disciplines for the 11th Games, some are well in favour of the hosts, as well as other countries where they are practiced, while some sports we are good at, especially watersports, has been left out.

“This has been a huge disadvantage for us,” said the CIJ president who is also the head of the Seychelles Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association (Socga). He added that having such an advantage over Seychelles, the other countries will definitely have a greater chance of increasing their medals tally.

“In general, I can say that the Games are going well, but as we all know, at every event, there are certain issues that can arise, for example delay in food delivery which can affect athletes’ performances as they need to eat well and on time to compete, and also transportation which is important since athletes need to arrive at sports venues on time so that they can get adequate time to prepare themselves before competing. But as I have said, these issues have, or are being taken care of,” added Mr Gopal who concluded that the Games are going well and everything will end well.


Roland Duval

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