Nearly 8,000 athletes to compete in Summer Universiade

As many as 7,700 student athletes from 153 countries would participate in international multi-sport event, scheduled to be held next month in Taiwan's capital Taipei.

The athletes would compete in 22 sports at 38 competition venues in Taipei and other neighboring cities in the 12-day 2017 Summer Universiade, starting on August 19.

According to Taiwan's Ministry of Education's Sports Administration, 368 Taiwanese athletes from 59 educational institutions at home and abroad would participate in the event.

This is the country's highest number of athletes participating in any international event.

The ministry said the Taiwanese athletes are aiming to win at least seven gold medals.

In 2015, Taiwan sent 236 athletes to last Universiade held in South Korea's Gwangju and clinched six gold, 12 silver and 19 bronze medals. With just a few days before the deadline ends, China has registered its athletes to attend the next month's event.

There were doubts that China would not send athletes to compete in the games amid rising tensions in cross-strait relations.

But, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je confirmed Monday that China had applied to register 180 people, including 110 athletes.

As part of campaign to promote the 2017 summer Universiade Games, Taipei City authority transformed the subway cars into realistic simulations of sport venues.

The decoration of each carriage of the Taipei subway train was focused mainly on the floors, which resemble swimming pools, soccer fields, basketball courts and race tracks.

The Taipei Universiade marketing official Lee Chang-hui told Focus Taiwan that all 12,000 available tickets for the opening ceremony of the event have been sold out.

The opening ceremony will be held on August 19 at the Taipei Stadium, with performances by famous Taiwanese superstars, including dancer PeiJu Chien-Pott, while the closing ceremony at the stadium would be a rock n' roll concert.

The closing ceremony will feature a wide array of dance and music performances and conclude with a light show produced by a team of solar-powered robots, the Taipei Summer Universiade Organizing Committee announced Tuesday.

The Universiade is the second largest international sporting event after the Olympics.

The name for the international sporting and cultural festival, "Universiade", is derived from the words "University" and "Olympiade".

The Universiade is also known as the World University Games and staged every two years in a different city across the world.
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