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In 2015 Gwangju to host the Summer Universiade

May 25,2009
Gwangju has won the right to host the Summer Universiade, an Olympic-like multi-sport competition for university athletes, in 2015, city officials said yesterday.

The South Jeolla city edged out Edmonton in Canada and Taipei in Taiwan following a vote at the International University Sports Federation (FISU) in Brussels, Belgium, on Saturday.

Gwangju plans to field a unified team consisting of college athletes from both North and South Korea for the international event, also known as the World University Games.

An aggressive campaign led by city officials seems to have impressed FISU executives, according to a Yonhap news report.

“We were finally able to win the bid due to the unity and hard work of the residents of Gwangju over the past two years,” Gwangju Mayor Park Gwang-taek told Yonhap at the FISU convention in Brussels.

“The hard work of the people of Gwangju and the full support of President Lee Myung-bak played a significant role in winning the bid.”

News of the success wiped away the disappointment of the city’s failed bid for the 2013 Universiade. It’ll mark the first time that Gwangju holds a major international sporting even.

The three finalist cities were evaluated in 53 categories. Out of a maximum of 410 points, Gwangju tallied 397 points, edging out Edmonton - which scored 389 - by eight points. Taipei came in third with 354 points.

The final presentation Gwangju put forward featured a message from President Lee offering the government’s full support and the promise for a unified Korean team.

To boost its bid, Mayor Park went on 13 overseas trips to lobby for support, notching up 91 days abroad in talks with FISU officials over the past two years.

This is the third time that Korea will host the international sporting competition. The 1997 Winter Universiade games were held in Muju, North Jeolla, and the 2003 Summer Universiade was hosted by Daegu.


By Jason Kim [jason@joongang.co.kr]



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