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Taipei vies for World Capital of Sport 2019

2018/09/07 19:51:25

Li Tzai-li (李再立, in standing)

Taipei, Sept. 7 (CNA) Taipei is vying to become the world sporting capital of 2019, with the aim of helping the city gain more international exposure, a sports official said Friday.

Speaking at a press conference, Taipei City Department of Sports Commissioner Li Tzai-li (李再立) said sport plays a significant role in international relations, and that with the recognition of "World Capital of Sport," he hopes more people will come to learn about Taipei as an international sporting city.

The city is currently in contention with Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates to compete for the World Capital of Sport 2019, a title awarded by ACES Europe, the European Capitals and Cities of Sport Federation.

This year is the first year the federation had expanded its awards outside of Europe.

Taipei presented its candidacy to the federation Jan. 31, and on Wednesday, a five-member delegation from ACES arrived in Taiwan to evaluate the city.

According to ACES, aspects such as sports infrastructure, the organization of domestic and international competitions, citizens' health and sports participation, the existence of athletic organizations, and general urban characteristics will be evaluated.

Hugo Alonso, general secretary of ACES Europe, said that one of the benefits of becoming a world sporting capital is the raising of a city's international visibility.

Taipei has hosted several notable international sporting events such as the Summer Deaflympics in 2009 and the 2017 Taipei Universiade, which welcomed more than 7,000 athletes from around the world competing in a multi-event competition for university students.

After Taipei, the ACES delegation will head to Abu Dhabi for another evaluation, before declaring the winner of the World Capital of Sport 2019 title by the end of October.

(By Lung Po-an and Ko Lin)
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