SHENZHEN - Host China sent its biggest-ever Universiade delegation to Shenzhen where the opening ceremony of the 26th Summer Universiade is going on Friday evening.
The Chinese delegation is of 804 members, including 505 athletes from 110 universities and colleges. They are to compete in all the 24 sports and are expected to win medals in women's football, women's volleyball, table tennis, badminton, shooting, diving, weightlifting and archery.
The star-studded Chinese delegation includes Beijing Olympics champion Qin Kai, Lin Yue, Huo Liang, He Chong, Chen Ruolin and world champion He Zi.
Chinese table-tennis players are more-likely to sweep golds as national team members Xu Xin and Fan Ying are included.
Tang Yi, nicknamed "Chinese female Michael Phelps" as she grabbed four gold medals at 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games, will compete in women's 100m freestyle and 4X100m freestyle relay.
After absenting two games, China finally had its men's football team back to the Universiade. The team is based on the men's team of Beijing Institute of Technology, who played in Chinese First Division Football League.
It is the third time for China to host a Universiade. Beijing held the 21st Summer Universiade in 2001 and the 24th winter Universiade took place in Harbin in 2009.
In Beijing 2001, the Chinese delegation took 103 medals including 54 golds, topping the medal table. In 2003 and 2007, China retained the first place with 41 golds and 32 golds respectively. In 2005 and 2009 Universiades, China grabbed 21 and 22 golds respectively, while the first place both went to Russia.
The 505-athlete Chinese delegation is not the biggest of the Universiade. Russia sent 574 athletes to Shenzhen. The third biggest delegation is Japan with 346 athletes.