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Shanghai gears up for sports meet

By CAO CHEN in Shanghai | China Daily USA | Updated: 2018-06-23 02:48

The organizing committee of the 15th FISU World University Rowing Championships was established at Shanghai Jiao Tong University on June 11 to manage the final preparatory work for the competition which will kick off on Aug 10.

Organized by the International University Sports Federation, the Federation of University Sports of China and Shanghai Jiao Tong University, the competition will take place at the Shanghai Water Sports Center, an international standard racing venue with two courses. Many international races have been held at the venue before, including the rowing and canoe races of the East Asian Games and the 2008 Summer Olympic Games qualifying events.

This is the first time that the competition will be held in a country outside of Europe.

A total of 496 athletes from 25 countries, including the United Kingdom, the United States, Italy and the Netherlands, will participate in the competition, making it the largest-ever world university rowing championships.

The men's and women's competitions will each feature eight events: eight, four, pairs, double sculls, single sculls, lightweight four, lightweight double sculls, and lightweight single sculls.

"We hope every contestant will display the spirit of the rowing competition, which is solidarity, bravery and courage," said Zhang Ansheng, vice principal of Shanghai Jiao Tong University. "Global students can get familiar with our country through the games."

The week-long national competition to select the 16 teams representing China at the championships started on June 10 in Tianjin. Two rowing teams from Shanghai Jiao Tong University made the cut.

Organized every two years, the World University Rowing Championships is part of the sporting schedule of the International University Sports Federation. Fourteen championships have been held in European countries since its inception in 1984.

China was awarded the rights to host the event during the federation's meeting in January last year because of its strong development in the field in recent years, as evidenced by the increasing number of colleges and universities that have set up their own rowing teams.

"China is dedicated to the education of outstanding athletes at universities with good command of professional knowledge and physical skills," said Xue Yanqing, vice-president and secretary general of the Federation of University Sports of China .

Shanghai Jiao Tong University was chosen as one of the co-organizers owing to its teams' outstanding performances in the past. The university's teams picked up the gold medal at the International Universities Rowing Race in 2005 and won the country's first gold medal in the World University Rowing Championships in Hungary in 2010.

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