Tue, August 23, 2011
Sports > Popular News > Universiade Shenzhen 2011

Largest-ever Universiade concludes as China tops medals table

2011-08-23 13:33:24 GMT2011-08-23 21:33:24(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

Photo taken on Aug. 23, 2011 shows the closing ceremony of the 26th Summer Universiade held at the Window of the World theme park in Shenzhen, a city of south China's Guangdong Province. (Xinhua/Chen Yehua)

Photo taken on Aug. 23, 2011 shows the closing ceremony of the 26th Summer Universiade held at the Window of the World theme park in Shenzhen, a city of south China's Guangdong Province. (Xinhua/Chen Yehua)

Photo taken on Aug. 23, 2011 shows the closing ceremony of the 26th Summer Universiade held at the Window of the World theme park in Shenzhen, a city of south China's Guangdong Province. (Xinhua/Chen Yehua)

Girls hold name boards of delegations enter the site during the closing ceremony of the 26th Summer Universiade held at the Window of the World theme park in Shenzhen, a city of south China's Guangdong Province, Aug. 23, 2011. (Xinhua/Yang Shiyao)

By Sportswriter Huang Jie

SHENZHEN, Aug. 23 (Xinhua) -- The largest-ever World University Games lowered its curtain here on Tuesday night, and host China topped the medals table with history-making 75 golds.

It was the first time that the number of participants passed the 10,000 mark at a Universiade and the Shenzhen edition was hailed as "the best ever" by Claude-Louis Gallien, newly-elected president of the International University Sports Federation (FISU).

Sixty-five of the 152 delegations medaled in the 12-day competition, in which China collected 145 medals including 75 golds, which are the most titles for one delegation to claim at one Universiade. Russia finished second with 132 medals including 42 golds.

In the 306 events from 24 sports, the first gold went to Italian swimmer Simone Ruffini, and the last was taken by South Korean taekwondo player Park Yong-Hyun. Russia's Evgeniya Kanaeva collected four rhythmic gymnastic golds to lead the medalists.

Ding Feng, Zhou Zhiguo and Li Yuehong of China were crowned in 25m rapid fire pistol men's team with the results of 1759, overpassing the event's world record of 1749.

Moreover, a total of 14 Universiade records were refreshed, seven in swimming, six in track cycling and one in archery.

Archery also saw women athletes' win in men's events. Joanna Chesse and Pascale Lebecque, two female French archers, teamed up with their male compatriot Sebastien Brasseur to beat Mexico 16-15 in the men's compound bow team final.

In the Universiade pool, 38 swimmers from 16 delegations met FINA standards of Olympic qualifying times, having the chance to go to London 2012. Both United States and Japan boast nine such qualifiers.

The Shenzhen Universiade, which also saw the first appearance of chess, aerobics, weightlifting, golf, beach volleyball and so on, was free of doping scandals.

"When the flame was lightened, everyone understood that something great started here. The youth of the entire world was invited to make a difference," said Gallien at the closing ceremony.

The ceremony was held at the "Window of the World", one of the most famous Shenzhen tour sites, which contains miniature world-famous scenic spots such as Eiffel Tower and Pyramids.

Xu Qin, the vice president of the Organizing Committee and mayor of Shenzhen, considered the Universiade as a gala of youths from all over the world and a platform of multi-cultural amalgamation.

"The city of Shenzhen and the World University Games together made a difference and will be everyone's beautiful memory forever," he added.

At about 9:00 p.m. local time, Xu Qin handed over the flag of FISU to Gallien who then passed it to Ilsur Metshin, mayor of Kazan, Russia. The next Universiade will be held in Kazan in 2013.

"We all have enjoyed such event in the world of sports," said Igor Shuavalov, president of the 27th Summer Universiade Organizing Committee and first deputy prime minister of Russia.

Shenzhen Universiade has been lifetime memory for athletes and officials from different delegations.

"I had lots of happy times with the Chinese drivers, although they could not speak English and I barely speak Chinese. I think that's the best illustration of a successful universiade that goes beyond languages and sports," said Graeme Maw, head of the British delegation.

"I have been to three Olympic Games, sometimes as athlete, and sometimes as head of delegation. I would say that the success of the organization, the high quality of facilities and the services here are all Olympic standards," said Martin Roberks, head of the Australian delegation.

Gary Cunningham of United States used just one sentence to summarize his impression of Shenzhen Universiade, which was "Special games, special meaning and lifetime memories."

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