27th Summer Universiade in Kazan,

July 6-17 2013

Colourful opening ceremony kicks off World Fencing Championships in Kazan

Almost 800 athletes from 101 countries take part in the World Fencing Championships that have opened today in Kazan. The grand opening of this global sporting event was attended by President of the Republic of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov, Russia's Minister of Sport Vitaly Mutko and President of the International Fencing Federation (FIE) Alisher Usmanov.

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The official opening ceremony of the 2014 World Fencing Championships took place today in Kazan. A press conference dedicated to the kickoff of the tournament was held shortly before the opening event. Attending this press conference were President of the Russian Olympic Committee (OCR) Alexander Zhukov, State Counsellor of the Republic of Tatarstan Mintimer Shaimiev, FIE President Alisher Usmanov, President of the International Fair Play Committee (CIFP) Jenő Kamuti and President of the Russian Fencing Federation (RFF) Alexander Mikhailov.

“The World Fencing Championships are an annual major event in the life of our Federation. It is important for us to check whether our sport is developing in the right way and to figure out new tasks based on the outcome of the World Championships. To improve, to accelerate or to fix our strategies. The holding of the World Championships in Kazan is one of the proofs of a systematic approach in the Republic of Tatarstan. The city does more than simply construct sports facilities and use new technologies, all this is given to the world's top athletes across all sports. It is gratifying that for the first time ever we welcome over 100 participating teams to the tournament. The number of athletes also increased in comparison with the 2007 World Championships, which took place in St. Petersburg. I hope that the World Championships will be staged to a high standard, and the athletes' bouts should meet this task,” said Alisher Usmanov. 

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Alexander Zhukov mentioned Kazan's heightened role in the sporting life of Russia and called the capital of Tatarstan 'one of major sports cities in the world'. State Counsellor of the Republic of Tatarstan, Mintimer Shaimiev, thanked the FIE leaders for entrusting Kazan with the right to host the World Championships.

“Thank you for putting your trust in Kazan by giving us the opportunity to host the World Championships. When during the Universiade you saw that Kazan has the facilities to host the championships, you said that you would like to hold it in Kazan. And it was done. Tatarstan has a rich history of fencing achievements. We have Olympic champions, great coaches. And these achievements are coming back. I hope that our athletes will achieve a success,” said Shaimiev. 

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The opening ceremony was attended by President of the Republic of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov and Minister of Sport of the Russian Federation Vitaly Mutko. 

"A year ago we were holding the Universiade, this year we are hosting the World Fencing Championships and in 2015 we are about to stage the FINA World Championships. And I think that we are going to play host to many other major sporting events that will bring together top athletes from all over the world," said Rustam Minnikhanov.

"We want you to like our city, to like our country, we want to show you our national spirit," the President of Tatarstan said to participants and guests of the event. 

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Up to 800 athletes from 101 countries participate in the current tournament. 12 sets of medals will be contested with the total prize money reaching over 1mln USD. During the next six days, the Kazan Tennis Academy will be hosting finals in the individual and team events. The tournament comes to a close on July 23.  

Press Department of Executive Directorate for Sports Projects

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