Medals, joy, disappointments, tears and emotion. Tarragona says goodbye to the XVIII Mediterranean Games, while the most significant images of this Catalan adventure are projected on the screens of the Estadi Club Gimnàstic, during the closing ceremony that took place this evening. Once again, as has been happening since Almeria 2005, Italy ends at the top of the medal count, with its 156 medals (56 gold, 55 silver, 45 bronze): too many to be reached by the home team of Spain which ended at 122 (38 gold, 40 silver, 44 bronze). An abyss that was impossible for Turkey to climb, third at 95 (31-25-39).
One hundred fifty six jewels that the Italian delegation is bringing home thanks to its men and women.
“Italy’s confirmation at the top of the medal count fills me with pride - wrote the Chairman of CONI, Giovanni Malagò, on Twitter who showed his support during his visit at the beginning of the week -. I thank all of you, dear Italian team, for receiving such great honours at this great sports event”. To a team - the largest of the 26 with its 407 athletes among the 3600 athletes present here in Catalonia - that had come to the Games with the forty-eight year old Giovanni Pellierlo, the oldest standard bearer of all time in the history of the Italian multi-discipline events (having passed D’Inzeo, standard bearer at 43 years of age in Mexico ‘68) and who says goodbye making Luca Spirito standard bearer, captain of Italvolley which today beat Spain, giving Italy the well-deserved golden conclusion.
If on 22 June, the opening ceremony was welcomed by King Felipe VI, present in the stands with the new premier, Pedro Sanchez, the closing ceremony, was characterized by the performance of the Catalan singer, Alvaro Soler, who offered the ‘tormentoni’ “Sofia” and “la Cintura”, and saw the handover with Oran. Representing the Algerian city, which in 2021 will host the XIX Edition, was the mayor Noureddine Boukhatem, introduced by the Chairman of the International Committee of the Mediterranean Games, Amar Addadi. Tarragona is already over, we will see each other again in Oran where Italy, certainly, will once against be a star.