The pools for the five team sports of baseball, basketball, football, volleyball and water polo at the upcoming 2017 Taipei Summer Universiade�the largest global sporting event ever staged in Taiwan�were announced May 11 on the final day of the Heads of Delegation Meeting at Shangri-La's Far Eastern Plaza Hotel.
A total of 45 countries were divided into the categories of male and female across four pools for three of the sports. The fourth sport, water polo, is to be contested by male athletes from 16 countries in four pools, while the women's competition involves 12 in two.
The fifth, baseball, is the only same-sex team sport, with men from eight countries separated into two pools. Taiwan is a hot favorite to outperform France, Czech Republic and South Korea to come out on top in Pool A.
The pool draw was witnessed by Oleg Matytsin, president of the International University Sports Federation (FISU), and his delegation of around 100 representatives from 50 countries taking part in the Universiade. In country for the three-day meeting, the representatives also inspected 20 out of 79 sports venues such as the athletes' village in New Taipei City's Linkou District.
According to Taipei Universiade Organizing Committee under Taipei City Government, 98 percent of all sports venues are completed and meet the highest international standards.
TUOC Chief Executive Officer Su Li-chiung said no stone will be left unturned in ensuring all sports venues are completed in time for the opening ceremony of the Universiade, which is set to take place in less than 100 days at Taipei Municipal Stadium. The 20,000-seat outdoor TMS will also host the closing ceremony of the games.
The Universiade is a festival of friendship and sport celebrating youth and the efforts of all segments of society to improve the city, she said, adding that it also serves as an invaluable platform for cross-border exchanges.
Matytsin said the FISU is pleased with the progress of preparations and believes the games will showcase the best things about Taipei. After meeting with President Tsai Ing-wen May 9 at the Office of the President in Taipei, it is evident the central government is firmly behind this grand event, he added.
Also known as the World University Games, the Universiade is an international sporting and cultural festival staged every two years in a different city worldwide. The 29th edition of the games in Taipei involves 7,700-plus student athletes from nearly 150 countries contesting 21 sports at 38 competition venues in Taipei, Hsinchu City, Hsinchu County, New Taipei and Taoyuan City.
Source: Taiwan Today