VATICAN CITY (AP) — The daughter of a Vatican employee will represent “the pope’s team” by competing in the half marathon at the Mediterranean Games in Oran, Algeria, on Friday.

It will mark the biggest event yet for Vatican Athletics, the latest iteration of the Holy See’s longstanding promotion of sport as an instrument of dialogue, peace and solidarity.

Sara Carnicelli, a 27-year-old runner, will be accompanied at the competition by Monsignor Melchor Jose Sanchez de Toca y Alameda, the head of the Vatican’s sports department in the culture ministry, the team said Tuesday.

Carnicelli was third fastest in the 5,000 meters this month at the small states of Europe championships in Malta.

More than 3,000 athletes representing 27 nations are competing in the Mediterranean Games.

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