Durban will host the 2013 World Transplant Games starting on July 28, the organisers said yesterday. "The 19th edition of World Transplant Games are likely to see around 1 500 athletes from up to 55 countries compete in Durban in a range of disciplines from July 28 to August 4, 2013," read a statement.
All the competitors had received life-saving organ transplants of some kind.
"We are delighted to stage the World Transplant Games on the African continent for the first time and we know that Durban will be a wonderful host city," World Transplant Games Federation president Olivier Coustere said in a statement.
The tournament had been staged worldwide since 1978. Disciplines would include the usual track and field events, as well as swimming, racquet sports, golf, volleyball, lawn bowls, and cycling.
One of the key aims of the games was to raise awareness of organ donation in South Africa and on the continent.
"South Africa has one of the lowest organ donation rates in the developed world. The World Transplant Games Federation has found that countries which have previously hosted the competition have seen up to a 30 % rise in the number of donors due to the awareness created by the event."