Chengdu Universiade | Student athletes set eyes on World Athletics Championships, Olympics-Xinhua

Chengdu Universiade | Student athletes set eyes on World Athletics Championships, Olympics

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2023-08-08 21:58:16

Wu Yanni (L) of China competes in the women's 100m hurdles final at the Chengdu Universiade, August 4, 2023. (Xinhua/Deng Hua)

For many young track and field athletes, the Universiade marks the beginning of their dreams.

CHENGDU, Aug. 8 (Xinhua) -- The athletics events of the World University Games concluded here on Sunday, with China securing 10 gold, eight silver, and seven bronze medals, the highest among all teams, followed by Turkey and Poland.

For many young track and field athletes, the Universiade marks the beginning of their dreams. China's star hurdler Wu Yanni celebrated the tournament's opening on her birthday and was thrilled to earn a silver in the women's 100m hurdles.

"I consistently improved my personal best in the semifinal and final, boosting my confidence. With a personal best of 12.76 seconds, I've earned an opportunity to showcase myself at the Olympic Games. So, see you in Paris," said Wu, a Sichuan province native.

Kadrian Dwayne Goldson of Jamaica (L) competes in the men's 100m final at the Chengdu Universiade, August 2, 2023. (Xinhua/Deng Hua)

The Universiade also attracted young athletes from around the world to test their capabilities and obtain experience from international events.

Jamaica's Kadrian Dwayne Goldson and South Africa's Phatutshedzo Shaun Maswanganyi earned gold and silver in the men's 100m race with times of 10.04 and 10.06 seconds, respectively. They are believed to be future sprint stars.

"Consistency in training is crucial. I will ensure I'm ready for the World Athletics Championships in Budapest and the Paris Olympics next year," said Maswanganyi from the University of Houston, coached by the American legend Carl Lewis. "I've learned a lot from my coach, and he consistently inspires me to progress."

In the men's 4x400m relay, Turkish athletes Ismail Nezir, Berke Akcam, Kubilay Encu, and Ilyas Canakci claimed victory with a time of 3:03.46.

Gold medalists Team Turkey celebrate after winning the men's 4x400m relay at the Chengdu Universiade, August 6, 2023. (Xinhua/Wang Xi)

"Winning the final gold medal in athletics at the Chengdu Universiade brings us joy. I believe we have the potential to qualify for the Paris Olympics," Nezir expressed.

The Turkish runners also snatched three half-marathon titles in the men's, women's team, and men's team categories.

"The Games has been organized to a high standard, providing a quality platform for athletes. The athletics events here showcased the energy and potential of the youth," commented Shen Chunde, technical committee chair of athletics at the Chengdu Universiade.

China's Olympic champion Liu Xiang, who secured the men's 110 hurdles title at Athens 2004, has been an inspiration for the younger generation, including Wu, to dream big and reach new heights. "Alongside my teammates, I hope that Chinese women hurdlers can win worldwide recognition," she added.

Bronze medalist Chen Guanfeng of China celebrates after the men's 100m final. (Xinhua/Deng Hua)

Chinese runner Chen Guanfeng regards star sprinter Su Bingtian, fastest person in Asia, as his icon. At the Chengdu Universiade, Chen finished with a bronze in the men's 100m with a time of 10.17 seconds. 12 years ago, Su also claimed third place in the same event at the Shenzhen Universiade.   

"I've received invaluable advice from brother Su in recent years and will continue honing my skills in starts and mid-race running. My aim is to stand on the Olympic podium, and I will exert my utmost effort to turn this dream into reality," said the 23-year-old.

Chen, along with teammates Chen Jiapeng, Yan Haibin, and Deng Zhijian, also secured the men's 4x100m relay championship on Sunday. They edged past Thailand at the finish line by a mere 0.006 seconds, with a final time of 38.792s. "The future is unpredictable. We'll never abandon our pursuit of our dreams," said Deng after the relay.

China's Cai Yanting, Ge Manqi, Liang Xiaojing and Li Yuting (L to R) celebrate winning the women's 4x100m relay at the Chengdu Universiade, August 6, 2023. (Xinhua/Wang Xi)

Chinese women's team consisting of Liang Xiaojing, Ge Manqi, Cai Yanting, and Li Yuting also clinched the women's 4x100m relay title with a clear victory in 43.70 seconds.

"We gave our all to win the gold and are elated with our performances. As young athletes, we anticipate to make further stride in the years ahead," Ge said.

In the field events, China secured five gold medals from women's shot put, men's triple jump, men's long jump, and men's and women's hammer throw.

Jorge Salcedo, a technical official representing World Athletics, noted, "The younger generation represents the future. I'm eager to cheer for more young athletes as they fulfill their dreams at the World Athletics Championships and the Olympic Games." 


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