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29 August 2012 | in Canoe Sprint, World University Championships

5th WUC Canoe Sprint solemnly opens in Kazan

KAZAN - The 5th World University Canoe Sprint Championship opening ceremony took place at the Rowing Centre yesterday, August 28th.

The ceremony was attended by Chairman of the 2012 FISU WUC Organising Committee and Tatarstan’s Minister of Youth Affairs, Sports and Tourism Rafis Burganov; 1st Deputy Chairman of the Russian State Duma Committee on Youth Affairs, Physical Culture and Sports and Secretary General of the Russian Olympic Committee Marat Bariev; FISU 1st Vice President and Russian Student Sports Union President Oleg Matsytsin; FISU Executive Committee Member Marian Dymalski; Director General of the Executive Directorate of the 27th Summer Universiade in Kazan Vladimir Leonov; Beijing Olympic silver medallist and Ambassador for the 2013 Summer Universiade Sergey Ulegin, as well as numerous guests, spectators, athletes and members of official delegations.

Marat Bariev, Rafis Burganov, Oleg Matsytsin, Marian Dymalski & Vladimir Leonov

In his welcome speech Rafis Burganov said that the championship is seen as a test event in the lead up to the 27th Summer Universiade and on behalf of the Tatarstan Government he wished ‘calm water and good results to all competition participants’.

For his part, Oleg Matytsin expressed confidence that the competitions at such a beautiful sports venue as the Rowing Centre in Kazan will bring true delight and great enjoyment to all athletes and spectators likewise and said thank you to President of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov and the organising committee for the work done in the build-up to the test events. He also extended his gratitude to universities and national university sports federations that sent their top representatives to the championship to demonstrate sheer excellence in sport and get acquainted with Kazan’s preparations for the 2013 World University Summer Games.

Marat Bariev spoke on behalf of the Russian Olympic Committee and said: “The university championship takes place in Kazan soon after the end of the London 2012 Olympics where the rowing tournament was among the most dramatic events. Unfortunately, the canoe sprint competitions haven’t appeared on the Summer Universiade programme for a long time and in this regard I would like to say a special thank you to the Governments of the Russian Federation and Republic of Tatarstan, as well as to the Russian Student Sports Union whose initiatives helped to include these sports into the Kazan 2013 programme.” Marat Bariev drew international athletes’ attention to the fact that nearly two years ago the territory of Lake Kaban, where the amazing Rowing Centre is located now, was a wasteland. “You have a chance to assess the exclusiveness and convenience of this venue; I hope that we will see most of you here next year, at the 2013 Summer Universiade canoe sprint tournament,” he said to the student athletes.

FISU Executive Committee Member Marian Dymalski agreed with the OCR Secretary General’s words and extended the warmest welcome to the WUC Canoe Sprint participants on behalf of FISU President Claude-Louis Gallien.

The honour to declare the 5th World University Canoe Sprint Championship open was given to Director General of the Kazan 2013 Executive Directorate Vladimir Leonov. “Today we enjoy being here, at this unique venue - the Rowing Centre, and tomorrow the World University Championship kicks off here. It’s a challenge for us, a test that we are ready to pass!” he said. Vladimir Leonov also thanked the Russian leaders, Tatarstan Government, FISU and Russian Olympic Committee and all those who helped to prepare the test event and make it happen. “With all my heart I wish the athletes who arrived here excellent starts and huge success!”

At the end of the official ceremony athletes and umpires pronounced solemn oaths and pledged to hold fair competitions in the name of sporting ideals.

As we have mentioned earlier, over 150 athletes from Russia, Czech Republic, Serbia, Moldova, Australia, Poland, France, Japan, Italy, Brazil, Belarus, Hungary, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Cyprus, Uzbekistan and Lithuania came to Kazan to compete at the 2012 WUC Canoe Sprint. Among the 24 Canoe Sprint medal events are men’s and women’s races covering distances of 200m, 500m or 1,000m, either solo, in pairs or in crews of four. Up to 50 umpires, including international ones, will judge the championship. The first heats start early in the morning on August 29th at the Rowing Centre. The event serves as test events ahead of the 27th Summer Universiade in Kazan.

Oleg Matytsin gives thumbs-up to Kazan's Preparations for Test Events

FISU 1st Vice President and Russian Student Sports Union President Oleg Matsytsin“Athletes participating in the 2012 FISU World University Championships in the coming two weeks in Kazan will definitely be content with the test event's management”, Oleg Matytsin, FISU 1st Vice President and RSSU President, announced after the 5th World University Canoe Sprint Championship opening ceremony in Kazan.

"The sports venues that are used during the test events ahead of the 2013 Summer Universiade meet all standards for hosting international competitions. Any event of this scale is seen as a whole by us: catering, accommodation, logistics. Here, in Kazan, everything is organised at the highest professional level," said Oleg Matytsin to kazan2013.com.

The FISU 1st Vice President also elaborated on personnel training for next year's Games. He particularly noted that test events will provide experts of the Kazan 2013 Executive Directorate and volunteers with professional experience needed to make the 2013 Summer Universiade a success.


(Source: Kazan 2013 Media Dept.)