Athletes ready to shine at World University Games

The Chinese delegation for the 31st FISU World University Games was officially formed on Wednesday, and the top Chinese student athletes are ready to shine at the event, which will be staged in Chengdu, Sichuan province, from July 28 to Aug 8.

Announced during a meeting in Changchun, Jilin province, the Chinese delegation boasts more than 700 members, among which 411 are student athletes from across the nation who will vie in all 18 competitions at the Games.

“This year’s World University Games will be a home event for us. We have to take advantage of the last moments before the start of the Games to train hard with scientific methods,” said Wang Jiayi, the chef de mission of the Chinese delegation, during Wednesday’s meeting.

The participants are not only athletes, they are also unofficial diplomats, Wang said.

“We need to show our hospitality to all our friends from around the world who are coming to Chengdu. We should also show them our best culture and be the ambassadors of cultural communications,” he said.

The Games were supposed to be held in 2021 but were postponed twice due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, event organizers changed some of the requirements.

For example, the age limit for participants was raised from 25 to 27, while the minimum age requirement is still 18.

Organizers also changed the Games eligibility rules.

Previously, only students who were still studying at universities and those who had graduated less than a year before the Games were allowed to compete. Now, apart from those who are still at schools, student athletes who graduated from 2020 to 2022 can also participate. The change allows those who missed out on the event due to the pandemic to compete.

According to the Chinese delegation, the average age of Chinese athletes is 22.9 years old. The squad is also very gender-balanced, with 205 of the 411 athletes being women.

Among the Chinese athletes, 94.2 percent of them will make their debut at the World University Games; only 24 have participated in the previous editions of the event. In addition, 34 of the athletes have participated in the Olympic Games.

“I have been preparing for the World University Games for many years actually, due to the postponement, but I have been undergoing comprehensive training,” said Cao Maoyuan, who will be competing in wushu, a martial art, at the event. “I have worked very hard, so I’m confident that I will perform well at the event.”

Cao aims to win two gold medals at the Games.

“I’m a student from Chengdu Sport University, so I’m proud to represent our nation to compete at a home event. And wushu events will be held early, so maybe we can win our nation’s first gold medal of the Games,” he said.

Source: Athletes ready to shine at World University Games –

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