With Chengdu decked up for the 31st FISU World University Games, the opening ceremony is set to take place at the Dong’an Lake Sports Park Stadium on July 28.
The venues and the games village, built in 2021, were spruced up after Yekaterinburg was stripped of the hosting rights for the 2023 Games following Russia’s attack on Ukraine.
“The Chengdu authorities did a great job in keeping the venues empty, improving the Games village and making it ready for usage two years later,” said Eric Saintrond, FISU Secretary General CEO at a press conference on Friday.
“This Games is an excellent opportunity for student-athletes to make their dreams come true and experience the culture of Chengdu. The organising committee has worked hard to stage the world a unique experience,” Xian Rongsheng, a member of the executive committee of the Chengdu University Games, said.
“The anti-doping program in the Games is running smoothly with the Beijing lab in charge of the sample analysis of the athletes. The athletes will undergo tests in the village and the venue. From July 25 till the end of the Games, an education base in the athlete village will conduct anti-doping awareness campaigns and activities. ”Li Zhiquan, Director of the Doping Control Command Centre for the Chengdu Games
With 269 medal events spanning over 13 days from July 28 to August 8, the FISU Games Village, located on the Chengdu University campus, will see 9,500-plus athletes and officials from over 113 countries take part.
Wu Yanni, a 100m hurdler from China, and German swimmer Henning Bennet Muhlleitner, were present at the conference.
Wu was forced out of the women’s 100m hurdles final at the recent Asian Athletics Championship in Bangkok after arguing with the referee over a false start. In the same race, Jyothi Yarraji of India won gold with a time of 13.09. Coincidentally, both athletes will compete in the event again in Chengdu.
The Chinese athlete did not want to be reminded of her past and planned to give her best in the upcoming competition.
“As a Sichuan native, I was fortunate to participate in the flame relay. As I was taking part, I felt proud to be able to give back to my homeland. The penalty I received at the Asian athletics championship was not my brightest moment. Since it’s my birthday today, it’s my great pleasure to be a part of the conference.”
Muhlleitner, on the other hand, narrowly missed the podium in the men’s 400m freestyle at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics by finishing fourth. In the light of Germany hosting the next Summer University Games in 2025, the swimmer said, “It is a great honour for me and the entire German contingent to host the next Summer University Games. We hope to replicate the hospitality we received in Chengdu when we host it in 2025.”
The reporter is in Chengdu as a part of the FISU Young Reporters Program.
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