Interview: Polish team wants both medals, friendship in China trip: head of university sport union

(Xinhua) 11:18, July 26, 2023

WARSAW, July 26 (Xinhua) -- Aiming to take home both medals and friendship, the head of Poland's largest students' organization has spoken highly of China's organization and dedication to the Chengdu Universiade ahead of their trip.

"As far as I know, the cooperation between us and the organizing committee in Chengdu is just excellent and wonderful. We have been cooperating very strongly. We have been receiving responses to our questions, and we absolutely believe that everything will be successful," Professor Alojzy Nowak, president of the University Sports Association (AZS), told Xinhua in a recent interview.

Featuring 269 events across 18 sports, the 31st FISU World University Games will run from July 28 to Aug. 8 in Chengdu, the capital city of southwest China's Sichuan Province.

According to Nowak, the AZS associates approximately 40,000 members and over 200 university clubs. Thirty percent of the Polish national team are their athletes. He told Xinhua that the representatives of Poland come from "very differentiated universities or institutions of higher education."

"Up to 198 athletes from 70 universities are involved, as well as coaches, team leaders, and physiotherapists. In most cases, the athletes are around 20 to 23 years old," he said.

Nowak, also the rector of the University of Warsaw, said that he is expecting medals, and at the same time seeking opportunities for academic exchange and cooperation between Chinese and Polish universities.

"Number one, it's a competition ... We hope that we have a chance for around 20 medals. We will see how we are going to obtain them. But another goal is also cooperation and making friends between the Polish and Chinese students from different universities," he said.

The AZS president also expressed his understanding of the rescheduling of the games.

"I think that is a proper thing. And we are frankly grateful that China has not resigned from organizing this meeting but decided to postpone it because of COVID-19. During the pandemic, everything was postponed, but the organization of this game has taken place, and it's a great thing."

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Liang Jun)


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