Budapest, Sep 13 : The first World Urban Games will open here on Friday with over 300 athletes participating in six events, three of which will make their Olympic debut at next year's Tokyo Games.
China's Zeng Yingying, who finished fourth at the WDSF World Breaking Championships last June, will compete in the women's breaking, which also features world champion b-girl Ami from Japan. The 3x3 basketball tournament, which will serve as the final of the FIBA 3x3 U23 Nations League, will see no players from women's World Cup winners China, because neither of the teams' players from that final are eligible for the U23 sides. China beat Hungary 19-13 to win the title in June.
The six events at the three-day competition are BMX freestyle, roller freestyle, parkour, breaking, flying disc and 3x3 basketball. A total prize fund of 350,000 U.S. dollars will be distributed across the six sports. "We will try to make the most of these three days, try to capitalize on everything this event brings, and set the bar as high as possible for any future hosting city so they can try and reach our standards," said Viktor Molnar, head of the 2019 World Urban Games organizing committee.
The Games will take place at the Nagyvasartelep (Market Hall) located close to the River Danube, with the city looking to use the Games to rejuvenate an area which organizers acknowledge is in need of renovation. "With the industrial monuments and the graffiti surrounding, it will make youngsters feel good, and after much assessment we chose this venue, as we believe it is the perfect place for these Games," noted Molnar.
The Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF), which launched the Games last year, believes the three-day event will be a success.
"I am convinced it will be a great event and we were right to come to Budapest," said GAISF chief Raffaele Chiulli at the pre-Games press conference.
"I am delighted with the quality of work Budapest has done to bring us here today. Our vision, and the vision of Budapest, has been realized in this creation of sport, culture and lifestyle." (XINHUA)