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Tampa gets 2003 Sunshine games

Tampa has been chosen by the Florida Sports Foundation to host the 2003 Sunshine State Games.

The selections, made Jan. 21 and announced Monday, cover the summer games in 2001, 2002 and 2003, as well as senior games this year and spring games in 2001.

Tampa, which was the site of the 20th Anniversary Games in 1999, will stage the 23-sport event at sites and dates to be determined. In 1999, the games represented an economic impact of $4.9-million to the Tampa Bay area.

Orlando was chosen as summer host for 2001, followed by Palm Beach County in 2002 and Tampa the next year.

Lakeland will host a spring version of the Games in 2001, and Kissimmee/St. Cloud will host this year's Senior Games on Nov. 30-Dec. 3.

"Given the advance notice that each of the cities receive with this selection, we will be able to work together to present first-class amateur athletic events for Floridians of all ages," foundation president Larry Pendleton said.

This year's Sunshine State Games will be held in Gainesville on July 6-9. Approximately 8,000 athletes are expected to compete.