Chengdu Universiade | China's swimming stars feel warmth, friendship at Universiade-Xinhua

Chengdu Universiade | China's swimming stars feel warmth, friendship at Universiade

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2023-08-07 15:42:15

Qin Haiyang of China competes during the men's 200m breaststroke final at the 31st FISU Summer World University Games in Chengdu, southwest China's Sichuan Province on Aug. 4, 2023. (Xinhua/Huang Wei)

In addition to collecting gold medals, Chinese star swimmers are also having fun at the Chengdu Universiade. 

CHENGDU, Aug. 7 (Xinhua) -- From Fukuoka to Chengdu, Chinese star swimmer Qin Haiyang isn't just collecting gold medals that he didn't have before but also enjoying the lively atmosphere of the FISU World University Games.

Qin and his well-accomplished teammates are wildly popular in Chengdu as they are competing at the Universiade fresh from their successful World Aquatics Championships stint in Fukuoka, where he became the first one ever to sweep the 50m, 100m and 200m breaststroke titles in a single championship, breaking the world record in the 200m event.

Qin's teammates, newly-crowned multi-world champion Zhang Yufei and Li Bingjie, who also shone at the worlds, were deeply impressed by Chengdu's spectators' warmth, always feeling the extraordinary support from the crowd in and off the pool.

Zhang Yufei of China reacts after the women's 100m freestyle final at the 31st FISU Summer World University Games on Aug. 3, 2023. (Xinhua/Huang Wei)

Zhang, fondly called "Sister Fei" by her fans, found herself constantly surrounded by fans and kept busy taking photos with them at the Universiade Village.

"I had expected their hospitality but still it went beyond my expectation. They are so nice," said Zhang, who took a gold, a silver and a bronze in individual events in Fukuoka.

The Chinese trio hasn't stopped their quest for winning golds and breaking records since landing in Chengdu, and for them, basking in the delightful atmosphere is also important.

"The Chengdu Universiade made up for my regret of not participating in the last one," Qin said.

Apart from training and competitions, these swimming stars, who are also college students, have a lot of fun during the Games.

Li Bingjie of China competes during the women's 1500m freestyle final at the 31st FISU Summer World University Games on Aug. 4, 2023. (Xinhua/Huang Wei)

Qin and Li played some games in the cultural experience area in the Village, such as cuju and pitch pot. They also exchanged badges and clothes with members from other delegations.

"The Universiade is more like a big party," Zhang said. "We won't be too much affected by the results here compared to events like the World Championships or the Olympics."

Zhang is always seen wearing panda decorations on her swimsuit and headwear during the Universiade, indicating her love for China's national treasure and the Games' mascot Rong Bao. "I want to call on everyone to love and protect rare animals," Zhang explained.

Asked whether she had enough places to display her golds claimed in Fukuoka and Chengdu, Zhang replied with a smile, "My mother had already bought a few new cabinets." 


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