The FIBA World Championship is the most prominent sporting event Turkey has ever hosted in its history. Both FIBA President Bob Elphinston and Turkish Basketball Federation President Turgay Demirel stated this.
“This is a historic moment” Demirel said for his opening words at Friday’s ceremony. The ceremony was held in Istanbul’s Sinan Erdem Arena and attended by thousands. During the ceremony the audience had the chance to enjoy performances by Turkish singers and dance groups including the Fire of Anatolia dance troupe, which performed its renowned Troy performance. Greece’s Harris Alexiou also performed a duet with Turkey’s Sezen Aksu.
The 2010 FIBA World Championship will take place simultaneously in four Turkish cities: Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir and Kayseri between Aug. 28th to Sept. 12th. Around 350,000 people are expected to attend the championship. The first round of the championship, which returns to Europe for the first time in 12 years, will feature basketball stars such as Boris Diaw, Carlos Arroyo and Anderson Varejao.