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13 April 2015 | in Universiade 2015, Summer Universiade, Multisports

Gwangju welcomes Heads of Delegations



GWANGJU - As one of the most important information and communication platforms, the Universiade Heads of Delegation (HOD) Meeting kicked off on Sunday, 12 April in Gwangju, Republic of Korea. Over 110 delegates from 51 countries, including the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), took park in the HOD Meeting.

With less than three months until the 28th Summer Universiade Opening Ceremony, the HOD Meeting is a platform to showcase the Gwangju Universiade to the world and enables the participants to visit the host city and inspect the Universiade venues.

The Gwangju 2015 Universiade Organizing Committee (GUOC) Secretary-General Kim Yoon-suk mentioned, “For the last five years, Gwangju and the Republic of Korea have worked hard to present the best Universiade so that all participants can demonstrate their fullest capacity in Gwangju.” He added, “Since this meeting is the first official interaction between the delegations and the Organising Committee, we focused on delivering the most comprehensive and most up-to-date information so that the delegations can perform to their fullest.”

FISU Secretary-General/CEO Eric Saintrond said, “The HOD Meeting is an important step during the preparation phase of the Universiade. It will also allow the HODs to deliver relevant information to the athletes and officials as well as the National Sports Federations that are not always properly informed about the rules, standards, and specificities of our University Sports Events.”

HODs visit the Nambu University Aquatics Center on Day 1

The Head of KUSB You Byong-jin emphasized, “The Korean University Sports Board will do its best to support the Gwangju Universiade towards making the Universiade a festival for students around the world to have a great experience in Gwangju.”

A video of introducing Gwangju’s culture, cuisine, and tourist sites was shown after the opening remarks. An overall introduction of the Gwangju Universiade was presented for fifty minutes.

The Head of British Universities and College Sport (BUCS) Andrew Hibbert mentioned, “This is actually my second time visiting Gwangju. BUCS delegation usually visits the host city a year before the opening ceremony to examine the venues, weather, and preparations. Thanks to the organizing committee, we had a wonderful experience on our first visit and we have no doubt that Gwangju will host a successful Universiade.”

In the afternoon, the HODs visited seven venues including the newly built Nambu University International Aquatics Center and Jinwol International Tennis Court.

HOD meeting in session

On Monday, 13 April, the team draws for basketball, volleyball, water polo, football, and handball took place on the second day of the meeting. Former Korean sports stars, such as three-time Olympian Kang Man-soo (volleyball), Olympic gold medalist Hong Jeong-ho (handball), national football superstar Choi Soon-ho, and former Korea University basketball team head coach Lim Jung-myung and representatives from various sports associations including the DPRK delegation participated in the team draw. As a result of the team draw, the women’s football competition has certainly drawn attention. Pool C is referred to the ‘Group of Death’ as the top ranked team Brazil is grouped with DPRK, the world’s second ranked team and China, the world’s third ranked team.

The team draw for team sports was followed by a press conference where FISU Secretary-General/CEO Eric Saintrond, Summer Universiade Director Marc Vandenplas, GUOC Secretary-General Kim Yoon-suk, and GUOC Sports Division Director General Geum Gihyung Keum took part. FISU Secretary-General/CEO Eric Saintrond expressed that FISU would do its best to support inter-Korean cooperation in terms of the torch relay and the two nations marching together at the Universiade Opening Ceremony. GUOC Secretary-General Kim Yoon-suk mentioned that the central government is positively looking into supporting DPRK cheerleaders attending the event and the Universiade torch passing through the north.

The HODs finished the official schedule of the day by visiting the Athletes’ Village, Naju Public Stadium, and Naju Shooting Range.

Tomorrow, more venue inspections are scheduled and a Q&A session will be held.


(Source: GUOC 2015)