29th Winter Universiade opens in Russia
CGTN

Russian President Vladimir Putin has declared the opening of the 29th Winter Universiade in Krasnoyarsk on Saturday, with over 1,700 university student-athletes competing from all over the world.

Athletes from 58 countries and regions registered to compete for the 76 gold medals on offer, with China sending 86 athletes to compete in eight of the total 11 events. 

International University Sports Federation (FISU) President Oleg Matytsin (L) and Russian President Vladimir Putin at the 2019 Winter Universiade opening ceremony in Krasnoyarsk, March 2, 2019. /VCG Photo

International University Sports Federation (FISU) President Oleg Matytsin (L) and Russian President Vladimir Putin at the 2019 Winter Universiade opening ceremony in Krasnoyarsk, March 2, 2019. /VCG Photo

Hosts Russia are fielding 295 athletes, the most of all the delegations, and are trying defend their top position on the medal table which they got two years ago in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

Maxim Burov of the Russian freestyle national team said, "It looks like the Olympics. The task is to achieve a better result. I have played in Krasnoyarsk once a long time ago and now it's much better here. Let the fans support us, it will be cool. Support is really important."

Performance during the opening ceremony of the 29th Winter Universiade in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, Russia, March 2, 2019. /VCG Photo 

Performance during the opening ceremony of the 29th Winter Universiade in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, Russia, March 2, 2019. /VCG Photo 

The biannual winter sports gala features  Alpine Skiing, Bandy, Biathlon, Cross-Country Skiing, Curling, Figure Skating, Freestyle Skiing, Ice Hockey, Short Track Speed Skating, Ski Orienteering and Snowboarding. 

Bandy, a traditional ice-hockey like sport in Russia, is a competition event at the Universiade for the first time.

The event will come to a close on March 12.

Source(s): Xinhua News Agency