On Wednesday, June 29, the fourth day of the Mediterranean Games in Oran, the public remains and the city vibrates in the rhythm of sports, to the delight of athletes, happy to have supporters.
From our special correspondent in Oran,
Children, parents, grandparents. Every day since the start of the competition, spectators have been there to the Mediterranean Games in Oran. The platform for accessing the ticket office was very quickly saturated. During the volleyball match between Algeria and France on Monday 27 June, dozens of spectators stopped around the fence hoping to take a seat in the stands. Inside, the atmosphere was festive, between the supporters’ songs, the children’s crying and the dances in the stands.
Sports, elements of sharing and cohesion in Algeria “There is a strong enthusiasm for these matches, and we saw it from the opening ceremony where tickets were sold in less than 24 hours. Communication about this event has been going on for several years, and the Algerian state’s efforts in terms of sports equipment have been very important, “said Bernard Amsalem, second vice-chairman of the International Committee of the Mediterranean and former president of the French Athletics Federation. “Sport in Algeria is a very important part of mobilization, division and cohesion.” Even badminton, not very popular here, managed to replenish.
On Tuesday the 28th of June at the tennis club we stood in line well before the opening hours to see Algeria play Ines Ibou. Reinforcement was needed for surveillance and people waited patiently before entering and gathering calmly around the tracks so as not to disturb the game.
A grandfather accompanies his eight-year-old granddaughter, a tennis champion in her category. “I’ll follow her to the end and maybe even to Roland-Garros if God gives me life,” he says, taking his cell phone out of his pocket to show us the kid with a haircut. They came especially from Blida, a town near Algiers. “I took her with me, I want her to realize what the high level is,” he says with a smile on his face and a hat on his head.
Athletes’ satisfaction “Honestly, it is a country with welcoming and smiling people. There are a lot of people in the competitions and it’s really nice “, says the French boxer. Djamili Aboudou who fought in a dizzying alarm.
Taekwondo or wrestling were also popular sports. When it comes to football, with the derby between Algeria and Morocco, no need to draw a picture. The excitement was at its peak. And it was a bit of a grimace when two boys, Fennecs shirts on their backs, commented on the Algerians’ defeat.
A little earlier, towards the Palais des sports, a young woman and her two children were looking for the water polo pool located near the zoo, in the public garden pool! Next door, a giant screen broadcasts boxing and fighting, enough to satisfy those who have not had the opportunity to enter the room.
The Arzew sports hall could not accommodate the thousands of fans who came to follow the Algerian handball players’ first trip to Turkey up close. On Tuesday, June 28, at the end of the third day of competition, Algeria came in second place in the medal table after Egypt. Youth and Sports Minister Abderrazak Sebgag said he was “very proud” of the results so far.
Discover the cityAlgeria had not organized a major competition since 1990 and the African Cup of Nations. In Oran, the citizens were eager to see their city in the spotlight. The owner of a small grocery store near the tennis club did not expect to be overwhelmed in this way. “I’m surprised but happy to meet faces other than those in my neighborhood,” she smiles. “It gives me more work, but it’s for a good cause. Stay here! “An old gentleman serves cold drinks at the counter.
“Oran is a very beautiful city that has changed a lot. She will benefit from these new infrastructures,” says a taxi driver born in the city. .
And for those who discover the city in connection with the Mediterranean Games, nothing is more impressive than climbing to the fort Santa-Cruz, built by the Spaniards between 1577 and 1604. This magnificent stone colossus rises to the top of Mount Aïdour and dominates the entire Gulf of Oran. The view of the Mediterranean is breathtaking. The Mediterranean Games are already a popular success.