World University Games close as Russia tops medal table

Updated: 2013-07-19 16:19


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World University Games close as Russia tops medal table

Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev addresses the closing ceremony of the 27th Kazan Universiade in Kazan, Russia, July 17, 2013. [Photo/Xinhua] 

KAZAN, Russia - The World University Games came to a successful close on Wednesday after 12 days of fierce competition as host Russia finished atop the medal table with a record-breaking amount of 155 gold medals.

China is Russia's closest rival, winning 26 gold medals and Japan is on the third place with 24 golds.

Unlike most of the countries which sent university athletes to Universiade, Russia fielded a strong delegation at Kazan Universiade. The Russian delegation includes 89 Olympians, 18 of whom are gold medalists.

Russia staged an awe-inspiring performance by breaking the previous gold-medal record of 75, set by China at the 2011 Shenzhen Universiade, when the games were into the seventh matchday and two days later the host reached 100 gold medals mark before wrapping up nearly 50 percent of the 351 gold medals available at the 27th Universiade at last.  

China, who only brought a small part of its top athletes to Kazan, could be content with a runner-up finish in the gold medal standings after reaping 26 golds, 29 silvers and 22 bronzes.

"This is not our best team, but we are very happy with the athletes' results and have reached the goal that we set before the games," said Wang Xiaoyi, a top official with the Chinese delegation on Tuesday.

The Chinese team's star was Beijing Olympic champion Huo Liang, who claimed three golds in diving.

Russian swimmer Vladimir Morozov emerged as the most decorated athlete at the biennial sports gala as he took four gold, one silver and one bronze medals.

World University Games close as Russia tops medal table

The closing ceremony of the 27th Kazan Universiade in Kazan, Russia, July 17, 2013. [Photo/Xinhua]

Kazan citizens and visitors showed great interest to the events not only to the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, but also to the sport competitions. More than 551,000 tickets were sold before the first day of the Kazan Universiade and that set a record in the history of Universiade.

Hosting the World University Games has also given the central Russian city of Kazan newfound fame on the world stage.

Universiade-2013 is the first major sports event to take place in Kazan, which will also host the 2015 world aquatics championships and some games at the 2018 football World Cup.

"Even just 10 or 15 years ago it was just one of Russia's provincial cities," President Vladimir Putin has said during his second trip to Kazan on July 13. "Now it has transformed into a chic European city with brilliant infrastructure, both in transport and sporting terms."

The next Universiade will be held in Gwangju, South Korea in 2015.

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