Croatian athletes arrive in Minsk, where the total of competitors at the 2nd European Games will be 3667 ©Minsk 2019

A total of 3,667 athletes from 50 countries will be competing at the 2nd European Games due to start here tomorrow, it was confirmed at today’s opening press conference.

Commenting on the fact that the figure was below the original working estimate of 4,000, Simon Clegg, the Minsk 2019 executive director on behalf of its overseeing body, the European Olympic Committees (EOC), said: "That number was always a maximum that is in the host city contract.

"We work with each European Federation to settle the precise number in each sport.

"Ultimately the final number is determined by National Olympic Committees, and 3667 is the final number we are working to.

"It is only a small reduction across 15 different sports and I don’t think you can read anything particular into that."

Spyros Capralos, chair of the EOC Coordination Commission for the Minsk 2019, told journalists that there were no significant problems at this stage of the operation.

"Simon and I have been meeting Chefs de Mission for the last three days," Capralos, chair of the Hellenic Olympic Committee, said. 

"There are always minor issues in organising an event of this size, but we think from the few questions we have got that there is a general approval of the work that has been done by the Organising Committee."

Organisers for the 2nd European Games due to start tomorrow in Minsk claim they have had a
Organisers for the 2nd European Games due to start tomorrow in Minsk claim they have had a "vote of confidence" from team officials of the competing 50 nations ©Getty Images

Capralos added: "This shows that there are not major issues and that things are working very well.

"Our feedback showed that the Athletes’ Village was working very well, and if that works it means the transport and logistics associated are also working well, as well as the medical services.

"The only question we had was, 'Why did WADA come so early in the morning to test our athletes?', and that is a good question for us because we are strongly against doping."

Clegg added: "I’ve been living in Minsk for one week a month since the beginning of last year, and the way we’ve seen the Organising Committee develop this into a reality has been inspirational.

"We know the impact of the Games will go well beyond Minsk.

"We very much hope that people in cities outside Minsk will become engaged in the seven  fanzones taking place outside the city itself, and the three fan zones inside the city."

Clegg confirmed that competition in judo and boxing will form those sport’s official European Championships, adding: "Canoe sprint does not have a European Championship this year, so the European Games is effectively also its European Championship."