NZ university athletes get ready to compete in Russia
A team of 37 athletes are set to represent New Zealand at the 27th World University Summer Games commencing in Kazan, Russia, from this Saturday 6 July and running through to Wednesday 17 July.
Competitors in the New Zealand team will be pursuing medals in aquatics, athletics, gymnastics, rowing, sambo (martial art), table tennis and weightlifting (see the breakdown below).
The athletes are accompanied by a support crew of 20 people, under the leadership of Pete Wardell as Chef De Mission.
The Games – also known as the Universiade – are held every two years. This year’s Games in Kazan are being billed as “the first high-profile multi-sport event in the history of modern Russia” and are predicted to attract 13,500 participants (up from 7,844 at the 2005 event).
Kazan is situated at the confluence of the Volga and Kazanka Rivers in European Russia. With a population of 1.2 million it is the eighth most populous city in Russia, is regarded as the largest “student city” and is the site of the Kazan Kremlin, which is a UNESCO heritage site.
The numbers of NZ competitors taking part in their chosen disciplines at the Games is:
· Aquatics – 10 competitors from: Auckland (2), Cambridge, Christchurch, Dunedin (3), Invercargill (2), Lower Hutt, New Plymouth (2); aged from 18 to 24
· Athletics – 10 competitors from: Auckland (3), Christchurch, Dunedin, Hamilton, Rangiora, Tauranga (2); aged from 19 to 28
· Gymnastics – 5 competitors from: Auckland (5); aged from 19 to 27
· Rowing – 6 competitors from: Auckland, Cambridge (2), Hamilton (2), Te Puke; aged from 18 to 24
· Sambo (martial art) – 2 competitors from: North Shore, Whangaparaoa; aged from 19 to 20
· Table Tennis – 4 competitors from: Auckland, Hamilton, Palmerston North, Rotorua, Te Aroha; aged from 18 to 24
· Weightlifting – 1 competitor from Dunedin, aged 21