Winter Universiade closes with Russia topping the gala

Trento (Italy), Dec 22: The 26th Winter Universiade came to a joyous close in Italy’ s Trentino region after 10 days of competitions between 52 countries and regions with Russia emerging on top of the medals tally.

The evaluation of the international event was “really great” for the Trentino 2013 Organising Committee president Sergio Anesi, given that the Universiade was organised in a limited time of one and a half years and with a few resources, Xinhua reported Saturday.

A total of 234 medals were awarded, split between 32 countries and regions.

Russia finished atop the medal table, with a tally of 49 including 15 golds, almost a double than its closest pursuer, South Korea, which grabbed 24 medals, including eight golds.

Poland finished third collecting 23 titles, of which 10 were golds, while at individual level there were 55 athletes who succeeded in taking more medals than one.

Anesi defined the Universiade, in which around 2,700 athletes competed for 13 different sport disciplines and 78 competitions, a “celebration of sports and universities” that are the cradle of “future leaders”.

China closed the Universiade with 10 medals including 5 golds, especially staging a very good performance in the short-track speed skating.

With 59 student-athletes, China’ s delegation was among the most numerous at the Universiade.

The Universiade also ended its competitions Saturday with a historical medal, the first ever gold for New Zealand thanks to Natalie Good’s performance in the women’s snowboard race.

Local citizens and visitors showed great interest to the sport events, which already during the first five days tripled the number of television spectators compared to the last Universiade summer edition, according to the organisers.

“Organising an Universiade is not always an easy job,” President of the International University Sports Federation (FISU) Claude-Louis Gallien told Xinhua.

He said the Universiade, also the largest winter sports event of this year at global level, was especially betting on an “innovative vision” of knowledge transfer and education networking.

IANS