(AP) - The Third Pan-Armenian Games opened Saturday in Yerevan, bringing together 1,500 athletes from 80 cities around the world.
The games, held every other year, were designed to foster relationships between Armenia and the Armenia Diaspora around the world. The biggest visiting delegations to this former Soviet republic come from the United States, Iran, Georgia and Russia, organizers said.
The athletes compete for medals in ten sporting events: football, mini-football, basketball, volleyball, tennis, table tennis, swimming, athletics, chess and badminton.
The Armenian government provides 80 million drams (US$144,175) to fund the games, with sponsors supplying the other 40 million drams (US$72,060). The games end on August 24.
(Photolur photo: Armenian athletes from Istanbul marching at the opening ceremony in Yerevan.)