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Daegu Universiade Kicks Off Today

Posted August. 20, 2003 21:31,   


The 22nd Summer Universiade that will unite the youth all across the world unveils today.

The opening ceremony will take place at the main stadium at 6:30p.m., with a 11 day schedule which ends on August 31. The festival is expected to be a even more meaningful this year as countries which recently experienced war or conflict such as Iraq, Israel, East Timor, Afghanistan all participate.

Although delayed, the North Korean delegation also arrived to South Korea to participate the event. They are expected to create the mood for reconciliation once again between the two Koreas as seen in the Busan Asian Games last year.

Athletes will compete for the total of 183 gold medals in 10 regular events - athletics, swimming, basketball, baseball, football, tennis, gymnastics, fencing, diving and water polo - and 3 other events - taekwondo, judo, archery that South Korea selected as the host country. South Korea participates with a team of 379 athletes, the biggest ever in the South Korea`s history of Universiade and aims to take the second place in the overall result by earning over 16 gold medals. South Koreais expected to collect many of gold medals from taekwondo and judo, as well as archery which unbeatable female archer Yun Mi-jin(Kyung Hee University) participates.

The opening ceremony will take place at the main stadium for two and half hours with five stages – Fountain of Light, Dawn, Silk Road, Path of Life, and Unity and Tomorrow- under the theme of `Unity and Tomorrow."

The ceremony, which is directed by the Yu Kyung-hwan, a master in directing sports event, will not only symbolize the images of Daegu as the `Green City`, `Fashion City`, `High Tech IT City` but also the unity of youth`s dream across the world.

40,000 citizens gathered yesterday at the Duryu Park Baseball Stadium to celebrate the eve of the Daegu Universiade wishing the success of the event.

Sang-Soo Kim ssoo@donga.com