By Annette Chrysostomou
Hotels in Larnaca are expected to fill with marksmen before the European Compak shooting championship which starts on May 3 in the town, the municipality announced at a press conference.
So far, deputy head of the Cyprus shooting sport federation Tsiovanis Savvides said, 600 marksmen from 30 countries are registered, who will travel with partners and officials, and the numbers are expected to grow by the end of April.
“The official arrival is on April 30,” he explained, “but many arrive earlier for training. According to the Cyprus Tourism Organisation these are quality tourists who stay in four and five-star hotels. They will move around in rented cars and eat at quality restaurants.”
Savvides estimates the average stay of the persons who take part in the event from May 3 to 6 is going to be eight to ten days.
Of the registered participants from abroad most are from Russia, 148, followed by the UK with 67 and Sweden with 34. Greece will sent 14 athletes, and Cyprus will participate with more than 100.
After three official days of training on April 30, May 1 and 2, the opening, to which entrance is free, is scheduled to take place at 7pm on May 2. During the following four days, there will be a competition with 50 targets each day.
Spokesman of the municipality expressed his satisfaction with the event, saying it is “one of the best ways to promote our town and by extension our country.”
At the end of the press conference it was announced that Larnaca has been invited to hold the championship again in 2021, when around 750 participants from around the world are expected.
According to the Larnaca tourism board, the town has one of the most technologically advanced ranges on the island, where both amateurs and professionals can practice, whilst several major competing events are also held during the year.
Aside from the annual major shotgun competitions held there – both Olympic and non-Olympic – the range is also used as a major European training centre for shotgun shooting.