27th Summer Universiade in Kazan,

July 6-17 2013

A little goes a long way

Athletes from the Universiade's smallest delegations in number chatted with interviewer Victoria Abdullina of the U-media International School of Sports Journalism. Russia is represented at the 2013 Summer Universiade by 688 athletes, China by 295 and the U.S. by 289. But let's not forget about the small countries whose delegations consist of fewer than 10 people. They include Barbados, Virgin Islands, Bermuda and Congo.

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Greggmar Swift runs track and is representing the small Caribbean island nation of Barbados at the 27th Summer University Games. Their delegation consists of only two athletes and two coaches. According to Swift "that's enough to produce a decent showing". Both of the Barbados athletes compete in the 110-meter hurdles. Track and field is well-established on the island, and every year dozens of competitions are held there and followed avidly by the entire populace. "In our country, they do other sports, of course. It's just that in track, we can challenge for medals. Many athletes from our country have run the hurdles, and I followed in their footsteps. Now I'm the second-best hurdler in the country, and I came here to give it my all and win a medal, " Swift said. Unfortunately, he was unsuccessful in his quest to reach the medal podium.

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The Bermuda delegation consists of four athletes, a coach and a massage specialist. Part of the delegation is runner Shaquille Dill, who explained why only track-and-field athletes came to Kazan. "In our country, football is popular, but running a football team requires money. But you need almost no additional equipment to take part in racing. You can achieve results right away and without money. Anyone can run track, so it is a very accessible sport." Dill was the third in the semifinals at 800 meters, and on July 12, he will show what he can do in the final.

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The Republic of Kenya, with a population of over 44 million, is represented at the Universiade by just eight athletes and five other members of the delegation. Track athlete Dennis Chelimo described why so few athletes from his country made the trip. "We have a lot of talent in Kenya. Sport is very popular. Many people start playing in school and see good achievements. The main problem is the lack of financing. Our country simply cannot sponsor a lot of athletes. That really bothers me because many of the ones who stayed at home could shine at these games." Chelimo was at the Universiade to race in the 800 meters, but unfortunately he didn't make it past the semifinals.

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Virgin Islands representative Eddie Lovett was the 2013 Summer Universiade champion in the 110-meter hurdles. Five other athletes, two coaches and a massage specialist came to Kazan along with him. "Our country is small, and consequentially, so is the delegation. We feel like a family, helping each other, trying to do everything possible to win," Lovett said. He also talked a little bit about himself. "At first I played basketball, later football and baseball, and I even did the long jump. In the end, I chose track. Obviously it wasn't a wasted decision, because I am a champion now!"

 

Media Department of Kazan 2013 Executive Directorate