SCNU achieved outstanding results at the 31st summer edition of the International University Sports Federation (FISU) World University Games, held in Chengdu, in southwest China, from July 28 to August 8. SCNU secured two gold medals, one silver medal and one bronze medal. SCNUers not only excelled in the competitions but also worked behind the scenes and in the closing ceremony. Let's take a closer look at their achievements!

Athletes in competitions

Five students participated in three different events and all of them achieved success, earning a total of two gold, one silver and one bronze medal.

SwimmingZhang Yifan1st in Women's 4×100 Freestyle Relay
1st in Women's 4×200 Freestyle Relay
RowingNi Xulin
2nd in Men's Pair
3rd in Men's Double Sculls
Water PoloLiang Ziqian7th
Liu Luobin7th
Li Jiaxing7th

The detailed list of athletes' achievements.

"I'm happy to know that I can take part in the University Games!" Zhang Yifan, a 2023 postgraduate student of Sports Education of the School of Physical Education and Sports Science, felt greatly honored to participate in the competition for China.

To prepare for the competition, Zhang went to Jilin province, in northeast China, to train with her teammates. Here, she had to overcome two new challenges: adapting to a different living environment and improving herself in intensive daily training. Luckily, Zhang managed to meet the demands of training and caught up with her teammates through her self-reflection, abundant training experience and active communication with teammates after training.

After winning two gold medals, Zhang expressed her satisfaction and gratitude, "Being part of the team led by champions like Zhang Yufei and Li Bingjie was a great honour. I am also thrilled to have contributed with two gold medals to the Chinese team.”


The photo of Zhang Yifan with two gold medals and the national technical official (NTO) Huang Bo.

Ni Xulin, an undergraduate from Grade 2019 at the School of Physical Education and Sports Science, participated in two rowing competitions with two different teammates and won a silver and a bronze medal.

Ni's daily training is quite intense, with 24 km of water training each morning and 20 km and additional strength training each afternoon, in total of 300 km of water and land training per week. Because of day-after-day training, his hands were covered with calluses. However, when asked if he ever thought about giving up, he answered, "If you get used to it, you won't feel tired". 


Ni Xulin (on the left) and his teammate Zhang Songhu in Men's Pair.

What's more, Ni also had to face two big challenges: fatigue brought by the short interval between two competitions and lack of practice after years of not participating in the double sculls competition. He chose to confront these challenges by drawing on the muscle memory formed by years of training, collaborating with teammates and getting encouragement from coaches.

Though the final result didn't meet expectations, Ni prefers to view this competition as a valuable learning experience rather than a disappointment, using it to accumulate more experience for future competitions. He had the confidence to have better results in the World Championships and Asian Games.


Ni Xulin (on the left) and his teammate Chen Weichun in Men's Double Sculls.

Liu Luobin, Liang Ziqian and Li Jiaxing, 2020 undergraduates from the Sports Training of the School of Physical Education and Sports Science, took part in the men's water polo and won the 7th place. "I'm proud and honored to represent China in the world competition", Liu said.


The group photo of Liang Ziqian, Liu Luobin, and Li Jiaxing (from left to right).

When they mentioned the experience of the competition, all of them attached the importance of cooperation, for water polo is a team sport. For example, in the competition with Georgia, Liang Ziqian completed his hat-trick of the game assisted by his teammates. Relying on mutual assistance and tacit understanding, they realized the goal of advancing to the top eight.

They added that when faced with opponents whose strength was similar or inferior to theirs, they focused on transitioning from defense to offense, rather than becoming arrogant. Then, they pay attention to technical details to avoid elementary mistakes; when faced with tough competitors, they wouldn't underestimate themselves. The mindset, together with a respectful attitude to treat their opponents is essential for them in each competition.

Not only did they have a good result in the competition, but also harvested a lot outside the swimming pool. In the FISU Games Village, Liang and Li made masks of Sichuan opera and fans, discovering the beauty of traditional Chinese culture. They also exchanged emblems with athletes from different regions and countries to build friendships and share blessings, without regard for borders, races or beliefs.


Different pins Li Jiaxing exchanged with athletes from different countries and regions.

Impartial technical officials

Besides students, teachers from the School of Physical Education and Sports Science also made contributions to the World University Games.

Professor Huang Bo was the referee at swimming events and was responsible for athlete calls, judging during competitions, making decisions about the results, and awarding athletes after each event.


A photo of Huang Bo.

Associate professor Shen Yupeng, the international technical official of swimming, worked as the Chief Executive Officer of swimming competitions, taking charge of managing referees and organizing competitions.


Shen Yupeng (first right) and his colleagues.

Associate professor Du Ning was in charge of sports services, including coordination among referees, the preparation, distribution and management of the forms used in the volleyball competitions, the report of results, and the allocation of referees' workload.


A photo of Du Ning.

Performers in the closing ceremony

At 8 p.m. on August 8, the closing ceremony was held in the Chengdu Open Air Music Park. Zhang Xueliang, a professor of vocal music of the School of Music, and seven members of SCNU SkyMeteor Band, attached to the SCNU symphony orchestra, took part in the performance of the ceremony. Zhang Xueliang also acted as a cook in the show of the closing ceremony.


Zhang Xueliang acting as a cook holding the menu.

Zhuang Zhihui, Lv Song, Huang Shaocong, Kong Yi, Li Tongtong, Deng Yuhang, and Fang Zehua, seven members of SCNU SkyMeteor Band, played a pop song in the warm-up performance before the closing ceremony started. "We not only represent South China Normal University, but also South China."

It was an attempt and a challenge for a symphony orchestra to play pop music. What's more, the Sichuan dialect and foreign languages in the song increased the difficulty of learning it. With the trust and encouragement of tutor Zhang Zhen, the members adopted the song and finished the task quickly, showing their abilities in producing music.


The photo of SCNU SkyMeteor Band and their tutor Zhang Zhen (fourth from the right).

Source: SCNU News Center

Translated by Lin Yingtong, Zeng Wenting

Proofread by Edwin Baak

Edited by Wang Yingmin

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