Published : 2013-10-16 18:46
Updated : 2013-10-16 18:46
The largest national multisport competition is set to kick off this weekend in Incheon, a metropolitan city located west of Seoul, which hopes to use this occasion as a test for a larger international competition it will host next year.
Incheon, 40 kilometers west of Seoul with a population of 2.9 million, will stage the 94th annual National Sports Festival starting this Saturday. The event will go on until Oct. 24.
According to the event organizers, 22,000 athletes and 8,000 officials will descend on the third most-populated city in the country, competing in 44 medal sports and two demonstration sports.
Incheon will also serve as the host of the 2014 Asian Games next September, as the third South Korean city to host the quadrennial continental event. Song Young-gil, mayor of Incheon doubling as the chief organizer of the National Sports Festival, has said the national event will help the city lay the foundation for a successful Asian Games.
“We’re hosting the National Sports Festival for the first time in 14 years, at a time when we’re developing into a global hub,” Song said. “I think it’s more significant that this is taking place with the Asian Games one year away.” (Yonhap News)