Mediterranean Ring sees first activity in run-up to opening of Tarragona Games
Archers and swimmers begin using sporting facilities on Friday morning as workers add finishing touches
As the countdown begins for Friday evening’s opening ceremony of the 18th Mediterranean Games in Tarragona, some events had already started. With the finishing touches still being completed on the Mediterranean Ring, the sporting complex that houses the athletics track, swimming pool and indoor stadium, the archery was already underway.
The morning also saw the swimmers training in the outdoor 50-metre pool, while workers and organizers dedicated their time to the final preparations. Meanwhile, a number of journalists from international media outlets began arriving to cover the tournament. What was missing on Friday morning was the public, and the stands were still largely empty.
While the archers competed and the swimmers trained in the Mediterranean Ring, in Tàrraco Arena square the volleyball had begun, while the football had kicked off in La Pobla de Mafumet and Calafell. While most of the events will take place in Tarragona, in all some 16 municipalities in Catalonia will be hosting different sports.
While there were few spectators inside the Ring, there was more public activity outside, including food trucks selling fast food and ice cream. Pepa and Maria Victòria watched from a bench outside the Ring. “This brings some life to this plot because it was underused,” said Pepa, while Maria Victòria said “it would be a shame” if the Ring was dismantled after the Games.
The Games will also be a major focus for the media, and in all a thousand journalists have been accredited to cover the event. Among those that had already arrived on Friday was a team from Cyprus, with two camera operators, a director, editor and two reporters, who will be in Tarragona until the Games end. “It’s very important to us,” said reporter Androula Kasapi.
Meanwhile, some of the 3,500 volunteers were also on duty on Friday morning, giving directions, pointing out different services, and patrolling the stands to offer their help. Two of them are Marina Ceballos and Marina Valls, from Tarragona, who said they decided to volunteer because of their affinity to sport, and so as to have “an experience that we can only have once in our lives and in our city."