The "World Cup" of universities in Wuhan
As the "World Cup" of universities, the purpose of the WEUFT is to promote university sport participation and encourage friendships among team members of leading universities worldwide.
The opening ceremony of the WEUFT 2018 was held at the Optics Valley Stadium at 5:00 p.m. on July 13, marking the start of a nine-day competition attended by football teams from the University of Cambridge, the University of Oxford, the University of Melbourne, the Polytechnic University of Turin, Leiden University, the University of Tübingen, the University of Southern California, the National University of Singapore, Seoul National University, Tsinghua University, South China University of Technology and Huazhong University of Science and Technology.
The competitive level of the teams in the WEUFT is of a high standard. The University of Tübingen from Germany, last year's champion, was runner-up in the European University Football League, and they once competed against the Chinese National Youth Football men's team. The University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge also have a long tradition of playing football.
During the first day's match, the host team from HUST, after conceding the first goal, came back to defeat the University of Southern California 2-1. After nearly a week's competition, the tournament had completed over half of the schedule. The semifinals were held on the afternoon of July 20 between Seoul National University and the University of Cambridge, and Tsinghua University and the University of Tübingen. On July 22, the University of Tübingen won over the University of Cambridge 5-0 in the final. Seoul National University came in third place, and Tsinghua University came fourth. The host team from HUST ranked seventh overall.
First time in Wuhan
The football tournament was initiated by Tsinghua University in 2016, and the first two tournaments were both held there. There were eight teams competing in the first tournament, and 12 in the second one. Last year, the University of Tübingen from Germany claimed the championship. This year is the third tournament and the first time that it is hosted in Wuhan.
A representative from Huazhong University of Science and Technology said, "The hosting of this tournament will certainly play a positive role in promoting the development of Chinese campus football, exchanges between universities in the world, and the reform of Wuhan's city football."
New city attraction
The WEUFT is a top-level global university football competition. At present, the tournament has covered eight countries and regions on four continents, becoming one of the most influential football tournaments in the world.
The WEUFT advocates the concept of "from football and beyond football." During the tournament, the organizers held a football forum and organized for coaches and players to visit the historic sites in Wuhan such as Yellow Crane Tower and Zhongshan Park, so that the guests could learn about various aspects of Wuhan at different levels.
The director of the Wuhan Municipal Sports Bureau said, "Holding the event will be one of many concrete measures to build 'the city of the youth,' 'the city of dreams,' 'the city of universities,' and 'the city of football,' and also an important part of the series of activities to support the Military World Games." (By Zhang Lin)
Foreign students give thumbs up to 'the city of universities'
On July 19, athletes from various countries visited China University of Geosciences, South-Central University for Nationalities and Wuhan Textile University during intervals between the matches. During the visit, foreign students felt the youthful vitality and rich culture of Wuhan, "the city of universities."
Tom Tutton from the University of Oxford: "the city of universities" is well deserved
Tom Tutton is a sophomore majoring in history and politics at the University of Oxford. He carefully viewed every exhibit in the Ethnology Museum at the South-Central University for Nationalities. "I am interested in pictures recording the folk customs. It's really marvelous that there are such big differences between the cultures, costumes and habits of every ethnic group."
When there was no game, he went to the scenic spots in Wuhan. "The city is very beautiful to look upon from the Yellow Crane Tower. The roasted seafood in Hubu Alley is delicious, and the museum's guides are very interesting."
Tom believed that "the city of universities," as a title for Wuhan, was suitable because Wuhan has more than 100 well equipped universities.
John Harrison from the University of Cambridge: the dinosaur fossil is my favorite
John Harrison, 24 years old, is currently pursuing his PhD at the Institute of Astronomy in the University of Cambridge. This is his first visit to Wuhan. Harrison became excited when he entered the Yifu Museum of the China University of Geosciences as he was fond of geography and natural science. For him, the museum, which was full of ore and fossil specimens, was just like his "home court." He even actively served as a guide at the museum, telling the stories behind these rocks for his companions. He commented, "This museum is rich in collection and the means of exhibition is also novel and interesting. Of course, what I am most interested in is the fossil of the long necked dinosaur."