ASTANA – Kazakhstan’s national youth and student team have won seven medals in various events and at press time were second in the overall standings at the international Universiade 2015 competition being held Jan. 24-Feb. 14 in Štrbské Pleso and Osrblie, Slovakia and Granada, Spain.
Kazakh athletes have earned three gold and four silver medals. Alina Raikova won the women’s 15 kilometre individual event on Jan. 25. Anastassiya Slonova won goal medals in the women’s sprint free event the same day and the women’s 15 kilometre free mass start event on Jan. 31 and a silver medal in the women’s 5 kilometre classic event on Jan. 28. Silver medals were won by Kazakh athletes Jan. 30 in the mixed relay 2×6 kilometre women + 2×7.5 kilometre, men’s relay 4×7.5 kilometre and women’s relay 3×5 kilometre event.
The Russian team was first in the overall standings at the time of publication, followed by Kazakhstan and Poland. The Kazakh national team’s selection system allowed the best athletes to participate in conditions and with technical support.
The Winter Universiade, the biggest international multisport event for university students, is sponsored by the International University Sports Federation (FISU). It is second only to the Olympic Games, as shown by its nearly 100-year history and embraces the FISU motto of “Excellence in Mind and Body.”
The Winter Universiade incorporates educational and cultural aspects, allowing student-athletes worldwide to celebrate with the host city in a true spirit of friendship and sportsmanship. More than 2,500 athletes from more than 50 countries and 1,500 to 3,000 volunteers are participating in this year’s games, which are being broadcast by more than 100 TV channels around the world.
Spain is the host country of the 27th Universiade. Since the nation doesn’t have suitable conditions to organise all sporting events, FISU approved moving cross-country skiing, biathlon, Nordic combined and ski jumping to Štrbské Pleso and Osrblie.
Štrbské Pleso, located in the High Tatras, is the highest elevation health resort area in Slovakia. It attracts guests with great skiing conditions on well-groomed tracks for slalom, downhill and cross-country skiing, as well as a high level of services. Štrbské Pleso also has a large glacial mountain lake and parking facilities.
Osrblie is small village in the pleasant and environmentally-impressive surroundings of Central Slovakia only a few kilometers from the country’s geographic midpoint. It is famous for organising worldwide biathlon events and since 1994 has been one of the most significant biathlon venues in the world. The National Biathlon Centre in Osrblie is not only set for competition but is also used year-round as a training facility for biathlon athletes of all ages.
The competition programme in Granada and the Sierra Nevada mountain range covers the following disciplines: speed and figure skating, Alpine and freestyle skiing, curling, snowboarding and ice hockey.
Granada is one of the best tourist destinations in the world with rich cultural and social life, ancient history and great artistic heritage. The University of Granada, established nearly 500 years ago, is recognised internationally and considered to be the favourite European destination
for student exchange programmes. Granada is a sports city which hosts European and world sporting events.
The Sierra Nevada, in the Andalucia region, contains the highest point of continental Spain. It is a very popular tourist destination with Europe’s most southerly ski resorts, warm temperatures and abundant sunshine.
The 28th Summer Universiade will be held in Gwangju, Korea. The next winter games will be held in 2017 in Almaty.