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The 21st Universiade Concludes!

Ukraine's Yerofeyeva Reaps 4 Titles in Rhythmic Gymnastics.

Japanese and DPR Korean Win Half Marathon.

US Wins Gold Medal in Women's Basketball.

Russia Wins Men's Sabre Team Gold.

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Roundup: 163 Countries Accredited


It is now official, all the FISU participation records were broken today.

163 countries are now accredited (CIC official statistics, Beijing 28/08/2001 16.00). One more country than in Fukuoka 1995 (the old record). We now have 6602 participants, 2668 men's athletes, 1723 women's athletes and 2211 officials.

The last Universiade in Palma gathered 6009 participants. The CIC office will close on the 30th, and the number will continue to increase as more participants arrive for athletics.

Throughout his 40-minute tour of the Athletes' Village for the 21st Universiade yesterday, Jacques Rogge, President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) made few remarks. However before leaving the Village, he acknowledge the efforts the Chinese host had made to ensure the smooth running of the site.

"You deserv the gold medal," the newly-elected IOC President said to Zhang Jianmin, Head of the Village, who showed him and his party around the village.

At the General Service Desk, Mr. Rogge was given a briefing by an English-speaking volunteer from Beijing Foreign Studies University, and remarked that it is a "very good system."

At the flag-raising square, where 169 flags of the participating delegations flutterred over the sky, Mr. Rogge said, "There will be more than 200 flags here in 2008 when the Olympic Games is held in Beijing".

Cuban shot-putter Jay Y. Cumba successfully defended her shotput title at the 21st Universiade here yesterday with a throw of 18.90 meters. The result improved on her 1999 Universiade performance of 18.70 meters.

This is the first gold medal from the track and field competition. Lee Myung Sun from the Republic of Korea (ROK) won the silver with 18.79 meters. The bronze medal went to Zakowicz Katarzyna of Poland (18.31 meters). Cumba felt "tired but very happy today". She thought her old rival and big favorite Cheng Xiaoyan who placed 4th with 18.22m, performed quite well today. "I hope I can compete in the 2004 Olympics", said Cumba. She started training when she was11 years old. She placed 6th in the 2000 Sydney Olympics and 8th in the Edmonton World Championships. Silver medallist, Lee Myung Sun also felt quite happy today. "This is my best performance this year", she said."I will strive for the gold in the Daegu 2003 Universiade". Lee was the silver medallist in the last East Asian Games.

John Kanyi from Kenya both delighted and confused the crowd at the 10,000m race when he sprinted to the gold. When John began to hold firm his leading position five laps after start, spectators began to search for his name in the competition schedule but could not find the entry of an athlete numbered 1226. This by no means dampened the roaring cheers for the racer from Africa. John, who arrived in Beijing the day before yesterday, said he came late due to some visa problems, so his name was not entered in the schedule book. The late-comer pocketed the gold with 28:27.42. Ignacio Caceres from Spain, who ran side by side with the gold medallist in the first half of the race, took the silver with 28:43.63. The bronze went to Japan's Kazuyoshi Tokumoto, who finished with 28:47:34.

John said he was very happy to win the title, which is the first gold for his country at this Universiade. Ignacio was so excited at his silver that he blew kisses to the audience after he finished the race.

Wang Liqin paired with Tie Yana from China won the mixed doubles of the table tennis competition.

"We were not very confident before the competition as they trained for only once before the competition", said Ms. Zang Yuying, coach of the Chinese team. "But they performed perfectly today!". "They improved themselves during the match through cooperation", said Ms. Zang. "It was important for us to win the first set", said Wang Liqin, the male player. "We prepared and analyzed the situations carefully".

Romania's Mihai Claubiu Covaliu, world No.1 fencer for men's saber and the Sydney Olympic champion, was eliminated 14:15 by Germany's Martin Kindt, world No. 65, in the eighth finals of the men's saber competition. "We had expected that Covaliu would be the better one," said German fencing team manager Michael Mahler. "Our Martin was in his top shape today, and he played his best."

"I'm very happy. I don't know how to express my feelings right now," said Martin Kindt. "He's world No.1 and I am world No. 65. I think I'm very lucky today. I hope I can get a medal tonight".

Covaliu is now looking forward to the World Cup Championships, saying he will prepare for it after the Universiade. The frustration today didn't seem to affect Covaliu's impression on the Chinese capital, though. "This is my first visit to Beijing," he said. "I think everything here is wonderful."

Rusia's Sergei Charikov beat Italy's Giampiero Pastore 15: 8 to win the gold in the men's sabre. The bronze went to Italy's Alessandro Cavaliere and Russia's Alexei Frossine.

"It is Russia's first gold in fencing", said Charikov. "To me, it is very important. I think all fencers today did very well, especially my rivals. They are all very quick and well-prepared".

Italy's Ilaria Bianco beat Rusia's Natalia Makeeva 15:10 to win the gold in women's saber. The bronze went to China's Bao Yingying and Italy's Gioia Marzocca. "This gold is very, very important to me," said Bianco. "The women's saber is yet to be listed as a formal event in the Olympic Games, so winning a gold at the Universiade is especially important to a saber fencer". "I'm so happy today," said Italian saber coach Enrico Di Ciolo. "Bianco not only used her body and her brain, but also used her heart to fence". Bianco has won the second fencing gold for Italy, after Valentina Vezzalli's gold for women's foil. "Italy has a centuries-old history in fencing," said another Italian coach, Andrea Magro. "There are many good training schools for young fencers in Italy." Yesterday's competition was very fierce, witnessing 16 fencers among the world top 32 fighting on the bout. France's Anne-Lise Touya, world No. 1 in women's saber, was defeated by Russia's Natalia Makeeva in the quarterfinals.

Tian, the Olympic gold medallist, earned four full marks from the seven judges for his fifth and lave dive, a back 1-1/2 somersault with 3-1/2 twists, scoring 94.08. But his highest scoring dive was in the third round, at 94.50, which secured his lead. He was more than 80 points ahead of the silver medallist, Jose Oliva of Cuba. And Roman Volod'kov of URK took the bronze

George E. Killian, FISU Presidentawarded the gold medal to Tian, who is celebrating his 22nd birthday today. Tian was satisfied with his performance tonight except for the fourth dive. "I should dive to my best ability in each round," he said.

"He is really good and he deserves the gold he got," said Jose Oliva. "I didn't do well in each dive, and I could have done better." But the defending Universiade champion was satisfied with the result. "It's hard to beat Tian Liang", he said .

Tian has bagged the sixth diving gold for China, following those of the men's 1-meter and 3-meter springboard by Wang Tianling, women's 1-meter and 3-meter springboard by Guo Jingjing, and the women's 10-meter platform by Wang Rui.

Russian girl, Irina Bespalova, got the gold medal with a record-breaking time of 59.69 seconds in the women's 100m butterfly. The time clipped 0.05 seconds off the Universiade record of 59.74 seconds created by Liu Limin of China in the 1995 Universiade. It is also Bespalova's personal best. This is the second gold that Russia won as well as the 16th Universiade record set in the swimming pool of the 21st Universiade. Her teammate Natalia Soutiguina claimed the silver with 59.80 seconds. Rachel E. Komisarz, silver medallist of the women's 50m butterfly and the women's 400m freestyle, bagged the bronze with 59.95 seconds.

Gold medallist and Universiade record holder of the women's 50m butterfly, Bethany A. Goodwin, failed to win any medal in this event.

(FISU 09/03/2001)







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