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World University Games 100 days to go
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Team GBR targeting GREATNESS at this year’s World University Games 11/05/2017

Today marks 100 days to go to the 2017 World University Summer Games (29th Summer Universiade), set to be staged in Chinese Taipei 19 – 30 August.

The World University Games (WUGs) were first held in 1923 and are held biennially in major cities across the globe. This year, the ChineseTaipei edition of the Games is expected to attract nearly 10,000 participants from over 170 countries.

At the last Games in 2015 held in Gwangju South Korea, Team GBR recorded it’s biggest medal haul in 10 years bring home 11 medals including 3 gold, 4 silver and 4 bronze – with 12% of athletes medalling and achieving 17th place overall.

Team GBR will be looking to achieve further GREATNESS in 2017, with its largest delegation since 2011 – with an overall team of 175 including 116 athletes set to compete in 13 sports including: archery, athletics, women’s football, golf, women’s artistic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, judo, swimming, taekwondo, tennis, men’s and women’s water polo & weightlifting.

Great Britain will he headed by Chef de Mission, Andy Hibbert, who returns to lead Team GBR for a third consecutive games.

Speaking from the Heads of Delegation meeting in Chinese Taipei, Hibbert is looking forward to the Games starting in just 100 days’ time.

“The World University Games provide a unique opportunity for elite student athletes to participate in a multi-sport event against athletes from over 170 countries. 

“For some of our athletes this will be pinnacle of their sporting achievement, for others this is a significant stepping stone on the performance pathway to future World Championships and Olympic Games.

“The facilities and venues in Taiwan are superb and I look forward to supporting another generation of talented student athletes.”

A world class event 

The Games are a world class sporting event, second to only the Olympics in terms of variety of competitions and the number of participating countries and athletes. The standard of competition at the World University Games surpasses the Commonwealth Games in many sports.

Since 1956, the event has also been known as the “Summer Universiade”, attributing its’ origins from combining the words “University” and “Olympiad”
Great Britain has also been the host nation for the 1991 World University Games (then the World Student Games), when the event was held in Sheffield. The Games left several legacy venues including Ponds Forge, which is now host to the largest student multisport event in the UK – BUCS Nationals.


The event has been an important part in the development pathway for numerous British athletes who used the World University Games as the perfect stepping stone, en route to competing at Olympic Games. The Team GB contingent who competed at Rio 2016, included 37 athletes who had competed at either a World University Games or World University Championships.

Jess Ennis-Hill’s first senior international competition was the 2005 World University Games in Izmir, Turkey, where she took home bronze in the heptathlon. Ennis studied Psychology at the University of Sheffield, graduating in 2007.

Although not a sport at his year’s Games, in Rugby 7s the likes of current England and GB Captain Tom Mitchell, competed at the World University Games in Kazan in 2013 and the World University Championships for Rugby 7s in 2014 in France. 

Retired gymnast and Liverpool John Moores alumna, Beth Tweddle, attended two World University Games, where she picked up a gold and two bronze in Izmir in 2005 and then two gold in 2009 in Belgrade.

In Women’s Football, the gold medal winning GB outfit from 2013 World University Games included several players now playing in the FA’s Women’s Superleage (WSL); including the likes of Danielle Carter (England, Arsenal) and Izzy Christiansen (Manchester City, England).

GREATEST medal haul in 10 years, in Gwangju 2015

At the last Games in 2015 held in Gwangju, South Korea, Team GBR brought home 11 medals – 3 gold, 4 silver and 4 bronze – with 12% of athletes medalling and achieving 17th place overall – GBR’s best medal-haul in 10 years.

Following her gold in team event in artistic gymnastics at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, Southampton Solent’s Kelly Simm claimed gold in the all-around competition in Gwangju, in additional to a silver in vault and a bronze in the floor routine.

A highlight amongst the swimmers included Team Bath’s Jay Lelliott, who clinched gold in the 400m freestyle and a silver in the 800m freestyle.


The first selection of 2017 GREATS – table tennis & taekwondo

Athletes have already been selected in Table Tennis, including Daniel Reed (University of Nottingham), Adam Harrison (University of Nottingham), Colin Dalgliesh (Robert Gordon University), Maria Tsaptsinos (University of Nottingham), Chloe Thomas (Bournemouth University) and Yolanda King (University of Nottingham).

Taekwondo team has also just been announced including: Courtney Eardley -49 (Sheffield Hallam University), Pooja Vadhva -53 (University of Manchester) and Jacob Barnett -74 (Leeds Beckett University).

Selection announcements for all other sports are set to be made over the coming months.

Draws announced for women's football, men's and women's water polo

At the Heads of Delegation Meeting in Taipei, the draws for team sports were announced.

Women's football is a 13 team compeititon, with GBR being seeded second in the Euro pot and are drawn against Russia (silver-medallists in 2015 and South Africa (14th of 16in 2015). Last time GBR entered was in Kazan in 2013, where they took home the Gold medal.

Last time GBR entered a team in women's water polo was 2011. This year's competition features 12 teams and two pools - in pool A, GBR face Canada, Russia, Hungary, Japan and New Zealand.

In men's water polo competition, GBR have been absent from the competition since 2009 - and in 2017 will make a comback to play Chinese Taipei, France and Korea in Pool A.

Are you eligible?

The Great Britain delegation is managed and delivered by British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS), the governing body for higher education sport in the UK, on behalf of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Team GBR is supported by National Governing Bodies of Sport (NGBs), with the level of performance dovetailing into NGB world class performance pathways.

To be eligible to compete at a World University Games, athletes are required to be undergraduate or just graduated in the year immediately preceding the year of the event. GB athletes need not necessarily be studying at a UK institution, they can be studying internationally, and also need to be between the ages of 17 and 28. For more information on selection criteria for each sport, visit the BUCS website.

For more information

Keep up to date with the team’s progress via the BUCS Facebook, twitter, Instagram and YouTube channel and via the team’s hashtag #WUGSGB and #TargetGREATNESS

For more information on BUCS and the team representing Great Britain and Northern Ireland, visit the BUCS website.

For more information on the World University Games, visit the event website.

For more information on international university sport programmes, visit the FISU website.


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