By Andy Sambidge
Regional version of Olympic Games to attract 1,500 athletes, six new venues to be built for event
A GCC-only version of the Olympic Games are set to be held in Bahrain in October, the Bahrain Olympic Committee said on Tuesday.
Bahrain 11, the inaugural edition of the GCC Games and largest event of its kind ever held in the region, is scheduled to take place from October 11-22.
The announcement was made by Sheikh Khalid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa, CEO of the Bahrain Olympic Committee who said: "We have undertaken every effort to ensure that our sporting infrastructure and organisation level matches the grand scale and vision of this event.
"We expect Bahrain 11 will attract major attention from people all around the globe, and as such we have a responsibility to present the best of what Bahrain has to offer and demonstrate its ability in hosting events of this size and calibre."
He said Bahrain 11 was set to be the largest ever showcase of GCC sporting talent, bringing together more than 1,500 athletes representing all GCC member nations.
The competition will be played in 10 venues, including six new builds, across Bahrain and will feature 11 sporting disciplines, including football, basketball, volleyball, handball, athletics (track and field), endurance racing, swimming, cycling, and bowling.
Sheikh Ahmed bin Hamad Al Khalifa, general secretary of the BOC, said: "The GCC boasts an abundance of sporting talent, and the GCC Games will prove an ideal platform to identify sports stars of tomorrow and serve as an ideal training ground for international competitions such as the Asian Games and the Olympics."
The GCC Games will be rotated between the GCC member states every four years. Saudi Arabia will hold the second edition of the GCC Games in 2015.For all the latest sports news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.