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58 foreign referees to feature in China's 13th National Games

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-08-27 17:58

TIANJIN - A total of 58 foreign referees have been hired in a bid to maintain a world-level standard at the 13th Chinese National Games, the organizers confirmed here on Sunday ahead of the evening's opening ceremony.

The 58 referees will feature in handball and 10 other sports. The nation's top comprehensive sport gala, inaugurated in 1959, serves as an important occasion for athletes to test their mettle ahead of the coming 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo and to nurture future stars.

It is not a new occurance, however. A total of 35 foreign recruits were hired to help judge in eight sports at the 10th Nanjing National Games in 2005, and the number was raised to 58 four years later in Jinan.

The 13th National Games in Tianjin, running through Sept 8, have drawn 12,721 professional athletes to participate in 417 events across 33 sports, plus 7,620 amateurs in 19 mass programs.

And 3,654 referees in total are to be fielded.

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