Poster of the first Balkan Games (1929)
|Occur every||year (except for 1940–1953)|
|Purpose||Athletics event for nations of the Balkans|
The Balkan Games or Balkan Athletics Championships is a regional athletics competition held between nations from the Balkans. The first games were held in Athens in 1929, and the most recent were being held in Pitești in 2015.
The Games of 1929 were unofficial, and organized by the Hellenic Amateur Athletic Association (SEGAS). They became formalized after 1930 and have been held regularly since, with the exception of the 1940–1953 period due to the Second World War and post-war turmoil. In 1946 and 1947, unofficial Games were organized, under the name Balkan and Central European Games, in which Czechoslovakia, Poland and Hungary (1947) also participated.
SEGAS were also central to the creation of the Balkan Athletics Indoor Championships in 1994 – a sister indoor event to the main outdoor competition.
- Greece (1929-present)
- Romania (1929-present)
- Bulgaria (1929-present)
- Turkey (1931-present)
- Albania (1946-present)
- Serbia (1992-present)
- Bosnia and Herzegovina (1992-present)
- Croatia (1992-present)
- Macedonia (1992-present)
- Slovenia (1992-present)
- Montenegro (2008-present)
- Yugoslavia (1929-1992; history inherited by Serbia)
1940 athlete naming
The 1940 shot put champion was listed as Arat Ararat from Turkey. The birth name of this athlete was Sokratis Ioannidis, a Greek Orthodox born in Istanbul. Due to political friction between Turkey and Greece at that time, the Turks decided it would be more politically correct to change his name to Arat Ararat. This was the name he was known by in the athletic circles.