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08 April 2018 | in FISU World University Championships, Cross Country

After success in St.Gallen, WUC Cross-Country heads to Marrakech in 2020

The undulating hills and heavy footing made for a classic cross-country running course in St.Gallen

ST.GALLEN, SWITZERLAND — They say all good things come to an end, but as the FISU 2018 World University Cross Country Championship bid adieu to Switzerland the FISU flag was handed over to the next event host of Marrakech, Morocco during the finale of the closing ceremony.



As the chairman of the event organising committee, Daniel Studer captured the essence of this goodbye-and-thank-you speech with a special gravitas. “Just and alone the most important thing: Four times I say a huge thank you. First, to all of you who have come from all over the world. Without you, it would have been a little lonely on the running track. Second, to FISU. Without FISU there would be no World University Championships.”  It’s here, midway through the speech, that Mr. Studer handed over a little present to the FISU and IAAF representatives.


FISU President Oleg Maytsin (right) and FISU Executive Committee member Kairis Ulp (left) took the occasion after the race to thank athletes and organisers, and also presented a FISU gift to representatives from the University of St. Gallen 

Third, the event chairman thanked his wonderful team, a 12 member organising committee strengthened with the  strength and expertise of 70 volunteers. And finally Mr. Studer thanked all the others who supported the local Organizing Committee, such as the University of St. Gallen, Swiss University Sports, Swiss Athletics, Swiss Olympic Committee, the City and the Canton of St. Gallen, amongst many more.


The organising committee for the 2018 FISU World University Cross-Country Championship, the 11th WUC event to take place in Switzerland 

Following the chairman up to the dais was Dr. Marc Meyer, Dean of Study Affairs of St. Gallen University, who focused his speech on the link between FISU and the University of St. Gallen, remarking that,“FISU’s slogan is ‘Today’s stars, tomorrow’s leaders’" and highlighting the essence of what makes the international university sports community so special.


The top cross-country runners from 20 countries competed at the 21st WUC Cross-Country. There's a certain something special that is unique to international university sports events. The 22nd event edition heads to Marrakech, Morocco as well! 

Dr. Meyer also noted the parallels on his home university campus, as the St. Gallen Symposium, is currently being prepared by the International Students’ Committee of the university, which will take place in May. “This will again gather some of the most influential contemporary leaders of politics and economy on our campus,” Dr. Meyer said.Consequently, the symposium’s slogan is ‘Leaders of today, Leaders of tomorrow.’ Hence, the slogans of FISU and of the St. Gallen Symposium share their conviction that our future will be shaped by you!”



The professor concluded his speech by inviting the student-athletes to consider coming to St. Gallen for an exchange program or if they pursue a postgraduate of executive studies.



FISU  Executive Committee Member Kairis Ulp, FISU congratulated all the medal winners, but also make notable mention to all participants “Those, who were not on the podium today, don’t feel disappointed. Turn your participation to a great experience. Just like our blind runner Lousanne Coetzee from South Africa today.”



The FISU President Mr Oleg Matytsin then presented a special gift to her. 


 FISU President Oleg Matytsin presents World University Cross-Country Championship competitor, Rio Paralympic Games participant and world record holder Lousanne Coetzee of South Africa with a special award

Mrs. Ulp then took the opportunity to also thank the event organisers, and presented a FISU gift to the representatives of the University of St. Gallen, the organising committee, Swiss University Sport and the representative of Swiss Athletic. She then officially declared the 21st edition of WUC Cross-Country closed.



A great honor was not only placed on the organizing committee, but also for the athletes and officials as FISU President Oleg Matytsin also paid a visit to the championship in St. Gallen. Mr. Matytsin took the floor with the microphone in hand to stress the fact that the young athletes themselves are the best ambassadors for the FISU programme which concentrates into intertwining education, culture and sport into one.

FISU President Oleg Matytsin delivered some uplifting words about the athletes, competition, and his fellow FISU colleagues  


“It’s so important, especially in today’s world, that we use every possibility to communicate, to better understand each other, to share the values of sport such as fair play, correct behavior, friendship, and to spread out this values all over the world,” President Matytsin said.

FISU Executive Committee member Kairis Ulp passing the FISU flag on from the Swiss organisers to the Moroccan delegates who will host the 22nd edition of this event in 2020 in Marrakech 


After the lowering of the FISU flag, event organisers handed the universal symbol of international University Sport back through Mrs. Ulp and the FISU President. The FISU leaders then passed the flag onto to the 2020 organisers, the Federation Royale Marocaine du Sport Universitaire, who invited the student-athletes to compete in Marrakech, located in the northern Morocco foothills of the snow-capped Atlas Mountains.

With a long and storied tradition in distance running, Morocco makes for an ideal choice to host the 22nd edition of WUC Cross-Country in 2020. Could the red of Morocco again be at the front end of the course on home soil?