The 5th Islamic Solidarity Games due to be held in Turkey next year have been rescheduled and will now start in September 2021, Turkey’s youth and sports minister announced on Saturday.

The event will now take place on Sept. 10-19, instead of Aug. 20-29, in Turkey’s central Konya province, according to Mehmet Muharrem Kasapoglu.

He said the games were pushed forward by three weeks due to the rescheduling of this year’s Tokyo Olympics, which have been postponed until 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Olympics will start in Japan’s capital on July 23 next year and end on Aug. 8.

“In this process, we will continue to carry out our work with determination. I believe we will organize the Islamic Solidarity Games in the best way,” Kasapoglu said.

The Islamic Solidarity Games were first held in Saudi Arabia in 2005, with 6,000 athletes from 55 nations competing in 15 different sports, including taekwondo, swimming, shooting, athletics/para-athletics, weightlifting, wrestling, and water polo.

Turkey finished second at the 4th Islamic Solidarity Games in Azerbaijan in 2017, with an impressive haul of 71 gold, 67 silver, and 57 bronze medals.

*Writing by Handan Kazanci.

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