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Killian relieved as Bangkok Universiade goes smoothly
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08:08, August 13, 2007

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The Bangkok World University Games not only survived a political upheaval in Thailand but also went on successfully until now, said a relieved FISU president George E. Killian on Sunday.

Killian, the president of the International University Sports Federation (FISU), said the organizers had been doing well in staging the 24th version of the Games.

"Thailand has already established itself with many other cities who have conducted outstanding Universiades. If we look back to the opening ceremony, it was a great show," said the 88-year-old who won the re-election as FISU president last week here.

"I found nothing major wrong of the Universiade as of today and I don't think there will be anything in the future that will stop Bangkok from being one of the best Universiades we've ever had," he said.

The organizers scraped up a reported 2.05 billion Baht (about 61.2 million US dollars) to stage the 15-sport Games where 7,000 university student volunteers from all over Thailand provided language, information and medical services

Killian said he was worried when the former Thai government was overthrown in September last year.

"Thailand had a change in the government. When we read it in the newspaper, we were doing this. We had to do that," he said, showing the reporters a trembling hand.

"And we came here immediately. The (current) government retained all the technical people. If you remove all the technical people in press center and other places, we were in big trouble," he said.

"We didn't miss a bit. What you have here today is something very successful," he added.

Killian said the Universiade, however, was not totally problem- free.

The organizers had handed out 8,590 credentials in the accreditation center outside the athletes' village as accommodation became inadequate.

"One of the difficulty that you have...right now we don't have enough beds and rooms. Everyday we are moving people from one floor to another, from one building to another for those coming later," he said. "And now the number of athletes coming is still changing."

The Bangkok Universiade opened on last Wednesday and will close on Saturday.

Source: Xinhua

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