21 Dec 2020


21 December 2020

Following the announcement last week of the first three sports to be officially confirmed as part of the European Games Kraków-Małopolska 2023, the European Olympic Committees (EOC) has now confirmed the next two sports to join the programme.

Karate, which will feature for the first time at the Olympic Games in Tokyo next year, will return for the third consecutive European Games in 2023 showing how important Europe’s premier continental multi-sport event is for the sport.

President of the European Karate Federation Antonio Espinós said he was delighted with the inclusion of the sport in 2023. “We and all the European Karate community are very pleased to be part of the European Games 2023. We are convinced that we can continue giving an added value to the event, as we have done in the two previous editions of the European Games in Baku 2015 and Minsk 2019. We are very much looking forward to seeing the best Karate athletes in Europe competing at the highest level at the anticipated event in 2023.”

The European Games in 2023 will also be an opportunity to showcase new sports, and with the inclusion of beach handball, it is sure to attract plenty of fans to the “beaches” of Kraków-Małopolska. Having made its Olympic debut during the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires in 2018, it will be the first time it makes an appearance at a senior multi-sport event since the ANOC World Beach Games Qatar 2019.

“We are delighted to see beach handball’s inclusion in the European Games confirmed for 2023, said President of European Handball Federation Michael Wiederer. “This is a big step not only for beach handball to be part of the Olympic family at senior level, but also for the continued development of the sport.”

“In light of the great success IHF had with beach handball at the Summer Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires two years ago, we are continuing with our dream of making beach handball an Olympic sport.”

EOC Acting President Niels Nygaard (DEN) stressed that with more sports now added to the programme, the EOC is really putting together a varied and innovative offering for the best athletes in Europe during the summer of 2023.

“With more sports set to be officially confirmed in the coming weeks, we are all very happy that the Coordination Commission has been able to work so diligently at the end of a difficult year for sport globally”, Nygaard added.

The EOC Coordination Commission has spent the last number of weeks working closely with the European Federations to finalise their participation in the 2023 Games and the EOC Secretary General Raffaele Pagnozzi has also been actively involved, making the most of his good relationships with a number of the Presidents. “Having these open discussions are paving the way for a number of additional Olympic sports to join the programme of Kraków-Małopolska 2023, providing the best athletes in Europe with opportunities to obtain quota places for the Olympic Games Paris 2024,” he added.