Successful Unversiade Reinforces China's Confidence in Hosting Olympics

The 21st Universiade, the first global multi-sports games held by China, has achieved a great success so far, which will definitely strengthen the fast- developing country's confidence in successfully hosting the 2008 Olympics, Liu Jingmin, executive vice president of the Universiade Organizing Committee, said Saturday.

Liu, also Vice Mayor of Beijing, told a press conference that the Universiade, the largest ever in the Universiade history, has attracted 3,939 athletes and 2,751 officials from 169 countries and regions, and 2,243 journalists from home and abroad.

"During the past 11 days of the competitions in 12 sports comprising 168 events, the swimming saw new Universiade records made by 15 swimmers and three teams, followed by six-time breaking of records by five athletes in the track and field, and one best results in the foot race," he added.

"China has collected 52 golds and topped both the gold standing and the medal list," he said, adding that the United States, Russia and Japan have also performed well in the games.

More than 3 million spectators have watched the competitions at the scene, and about 40,000 university students have joined the well-known "Rainbow Volunteers" to serve the Universiade, he said, adding that more than 18,000 students have joined the cheering squads to applaud and encourage the athletes from various countries and regions at all the competition venues.

"We have newly built seven stadiums and restructured 45 others for this Universiade, and all the 52 stadiums for competitions have met the standards made by the International Olympic Committee (IOC)," he said.

"We spent two years in constructing the Athletes' Village of the Universiade, which provides all the athletes and officials with not only comfortable bedrooms, a capacious cafeteria, but also high-level and advanced functional areas including recreational and religious venues," he added.

The cultural festival comprising eight series of activities has attracted more than 200,000 participants, Liu said and quoted George Killian, the president of the International University Sports Federation, as saying,"the cultural festival is a surprise to me during my tour of China."

The Organizing Committee has called up more than 1,300 vehicles to serve the athletes and officials, and a lot of preferential routes have been set to guarantee the transportation of the athletes, he said.

The preferential routes are different from the routes intended for somebody only, he said, adding that ordinary traffic can use those routes when there is no vehicle carrying the Universiade athletes.

"This arrangement guaranteed not only the transportation of the athletes but also the normal traffic," he added.

At the press conference, Liu also briefed the journalists of the security arrangement and the anti-doping.

Illustrating the reasons for hosting such a successful Universiade, Liu said,"Beijing is a world-famous big city with long history and profound culture. As a city marching toward modernization, Beijing has pretty good infrastructure and a large number of passionate inhabitants who are eager to develop friendly ties with people from all over the world."

"Beijing had already hosted many world-level large-scale games before this Universiade," he noted.

Liu admitted that although the Universiade has achieved a great success, there was still a few trivial problems emerging. But all these problems were solved in 24 hours."

"I am sure that Beijing can present an excellent Olympic Games in 2008," he noted.

The closing ceremony of the 21st Universiade will be held in Beijing this evening.

People's Daily Online ---