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history of australian rowing at world university games and the universiades

World University Championships and World University Games (formerly the Universiade)

Brief History

The World University Games, formerly the Summer and Winter Universiade, and the World University Championships are conducted by the International University Sport Federation (FISU).

FISU's main responsibility is the supervision of both Summer and Winter Universiade as well as the World University Championships.

Each of the World University Championships and World University Games are conducted every two years on alternate years.

World University Games

For the first time in 2023, the Universiade event became titled the World University Games.

The following description was taken from the FISU website some years ago. 

World University Championships

The other important sport events of FISU are the World University Championships. The spreading of the university sport in the world created a new series of meetings and competitions to complete the program of the Universiade. FISU supports the competitions which represent the continuity of university sport and allows the federation to be better known.

In 2004, FISU organised 25 World University Championships that attracted 4,845 participants from a total of 186 (of which 90 different) countries. For 2006, FISU has already attributed 28 WUCs.

WUC Sports Program: Archery - Badminton - Baseball - Beach Volleyball - Bridge - Chess - Cross Country - Cycling - Equestrian - Flat Water Canoeing - Floorball - Futsal - Golf - Handball - Field Hockey - Judo - Karate - Match Racing - Orienteering - Rowing - Rugby 7 - Sailing - Shooting - Softball - Squash - Table Tennis - Taekwondo - Triathlon - Wild Water Canoeing - Waterskiing - Woodball - Wrestling 

Summer and Winter Universiade [now World University Games]

The Universiade is an international sporting and cultural festival which is staged every two years in a different city and which is second in importance only to the Olympic Games.

The Summer Universiade consists of 12 compulsory sports (Athletics - Basketball - Fencing - Football - Gymnastics - Judo - Swimming - Diving - Water Polo - Table Tennis - Tennis - Volleyball) and up to three optional sports chosen by the host country. The record figures are 9,006 participants in Bangkok, Thailand in 2007 and 174 countries in Daegu, Korea in 2003.

The Winter Universiade consists of 7 compulsory sports (Alpine skiing - Snowbaording - Nordic skiing composed of jump, cross country & combined - Curling - Ice Hockey - Short-Track Speed Skating - Figure Skating - Biathlon) and one or two optional sports also chosen by the host country, and gathered a record of 2,511 participants in Torino, Italy in 2007 and a record number of 50 countries in Innsbruck, Austria in 2005. 

The World University Games have a tradition dating from the early 1920s, a history which is not as old as the Olympic Games nor as recent as the Commonwealth Games. The first World University Games were held in Parn 1923 and have been conducted in their current form since the 1959 Games in Turin.

Eligibility to compete depends on an athlete being between 17 and 28 and undertaking a university or college degree or diploma course (or who graduated in the year prior to the Games).

Australia was first represented in the 1967 Games in Tokyo where Ralph Doubell won a gold medal in the 800m which was a prelude to his gold in the same event the following year at the Mexico Olympics. Other Australian medallists include 1992 Olympians Alison Inverarity in the high jump and Shaun Creighton in the steeple chase. Previously Rob Woodhouse, Michelle Ford, John Sieben, Susie Woodhouse and Mark Kerry, all in swimming, have won gold.

Australia has been well represented in rowing over many years.

Details of Representation at WUG (formerly Summer Universiade) and WUC

No Year Dates
1st 1984 22-24 June - Milan Italy (WUC)
14th 1987 Zagreb, then Yugoslavia
15th 1989 Duisburg, Germany
16th 1991 Sheffield, Great Britain
17th 1993 Buffalo, USA
18th 1995 Fukuoka, Japan
19th 1997 Sicily, Italy
5th 1998 26-28 September-Zagreb Croatia (WUC)
20th 1999 Palma de Mallorca, Spain
6th 2000 11-13 August-Poznan, Poland (WUC)
21st 2001 Beijing, China
7th 2002 22-24 August-Nottingham, UK (WUC)
22nd 2003 Daegu, Korea
8th 2004 2-4th September–Brive La Gaillarde, France (WUC)
23rd 2005 Izmir, Turkey
9th 2006 11-13th August-Trikai, Lithuania (WUC)
24th 2007 Bangkok, Thailand
10th 2008 4 – 7 September-Belgrade, Serbia
25th 2009 Belgrade, Serbia
11th 2010 Szeged, Hungary (WUC)
26th 2011 Shenzhen, China
12th 2012 Kazan, Russia (WUC)
27th  2013 Kazan, Russia
13th 2014 Gravelines, France (WUC)
28th 2015 Gwangju, Korea (rowing not conducted)
14th 2016 Poznan, Poland (WUC)
29th 2017 19-28 August - Taipei City, Taipei (rowing not conducted)
15th 2018 Shanghai, China (WUC)
30th 2019 3-14 July - Naples, Italy (rowing not conducted)
16th 2020 No rowing conducted (WUC)

2021 No Summer Universiade
17th 2022 No rowing conducted (WUC)
31st 2023 28 July-8 August - Chengdu, China

2024 Rotterdam, The Netherlands (WUC)

Unless otherwise noted as a World University Championship (WUC), the event is the World University Games (formerly Summer Universiade).

Last updated May 2023

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