Fourth edition of the European Masters Games, from July 26 to August 4. The numbers, illustrated by the organizing committee in the last press conference before the inaugural ceremony, speak clearly: the 7,500 entries of athletes from all over the world (the Games are not continental but open) are a record never reached in previous editions of the event. If we also consider the coaches, reserves, technical staff and other figures indispensable for the contest of the races, more than 11,000 people arrived under the Mole. It starts with football, 5-a-side football, cycling, judo and clay pigeon shooting and with the start of the European handball championship.
Among the members there is a prevalence of male representation, with about 5,500 athletes and 2,000 women. With his 93 years, the Czech Vaclav Hejda is the oldest registered athlete: he will compete in athletics, in the specialties of the 100, 200 and 400 meters, in the long jump and in the throwing of the weight. Athletics, swimming, handball and volleyball are among the most popular sports. The most numerous representative is the Italian one, with over 2,000 athletes. Germany and Russia follow, but the representatives of the other major European countries are also nourished. To represent the non-European continents are India, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, China, Japan, Argentina, Brazil, Singapore, Mexico, Malaysia, Canada, the United States, Mongolia, Colombia, Egypt, Australia, New Zealand, Peru, Hong Kong, Israel.