"Taipei is ready" with 50 days to go

“Taipei is ready for us” – that is the message Uniroos Chef de Mission Liz Brett has for what’s set to be the largest ever Australian team to compete at the 2017 Summer Universiade.

 

As the final team announcements take place, over 250 athletes are expected to wear the green and gold for Australia at the World University Games in Taipei, Taiwan.

With just 50 days to go to the opening ceremony, Brett’s recent trip to the Games site was met with anticipation and excitement as the host city puts the finishing touches on the Games which will feature 21 sports with an expected 12,000 athletes and officials from 140 different countries.

“It’s a great city to host these Games,” Brett said after her return to Australia.

“The facilities are looking good, the accommodation is almost ready and it’s going to be a massive competition and our team is going to have an excellent time.”

“This will be my third time in a management role for the World University Games and I have never been more excited than I am now.”

Learn more about Taipei and the 29th Summer Universiade here.

The list of Australian university students heading to Taipei includes Commonwealth Games gold medallists Leiston Pickett and Ben Treffers, who are among a 19-strong Australian swim team that also features two-time World University Games bronze medallist Kiah Melverton.

Multiple Olympians are also named in the team includes Gwangju 2015 medal winning track and field athletes Michelle Jenneke (100m hurdles), Matthew Denny (discus) and Rachel Tallent (20km walk). Also in the athletics team is 1500m runner Jenny Blundell who reached the semi-finals in Rio.

Other Olympians heading to Taipei include Taekwondo fighter Hayder Shkara and table tennis player Heming Hu. In basketball the Emerging Boomers and Emerging Opals are full of future stars as they take this important step in developing on the world stage, while the men’s volleyball team will look to improve on some close results in Gwangju two years ago.

The World University Games provide the “perfect preparation for an Olympic and Commonwealth Games,” Brett continued.

“A lot of athletes heading over to the Games will have been to a world championships before with their individual sports, but it’s really hard to compare that atmosphere a multi-sport competition like the World University Games.”

“Just like the Olympics, the Summer Universiade has a lot of distractions, certainly around the village in terms of people moving about and the noise and it’s these things that can often distract an athlete – it’s important that athletes are wary of this before heading over and are able to perform to the best of their ability.”

Another member of the Uniroos management who knows all about multi-sport competition is Rio Olympic Team Chef de Mission Kitty Chiller, who joins the Australian Uniroos as a key member of the support staff.

“For many of our athletes this will be their first international experience in their sport – it can really be a turning point to go on to bigger things like Tokyo in 2020 or beyond,” Chiller said at an official team get-together.

“The World University Games is really the first opportunity to experience what it’s like to compete as part of a much bigger family,” Chiller added.

“Everyone there will be aiming for the ultimate prize but everyone there and everyone in our team will have the same camaraderie of being a part of the Uniroos.”

“Make the most of this opportunity, learn as much as you can.”

The 2017 World University Games will begin on August 19 and run until August 30, information about the event can be found here: https://www.2017.taipei/

Eurosport will broadcast highlights of the Games in Australia, but to best keep up with the action follow the Australian Uniroos on the webFacebook and Twitter (@AUSuniroos).

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