April 3 - The International University Sports Federation (FISU) has unveiled the candidate cities for the 2019 Summer and Winter Universiades, with three capital cities all in contention to host the 30th Summer World University Games in six years time.
Brazilian capital Brasilia, Azerbaijani capital Baku and Hungarian capital Budapest are the three cities battling to stage the Summer Games in 2019.
The Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk in Russia and Valais in Switzerland will go head-to-head for hosting rights for the Winter Games in the same year.
Brasilia were defeated in their bid to host the 2017 Summer Universiade by Chinese Taipei, and will be hoping to gain an advantage on their opponents through their previous bid to secure the first Summer Universiade in the country since 1963, and the first in the Americas since 1993.
After securing the rights to host the FIFA World Cup next summer and the first Olympic and Paralympics Games on South American soil in 2016, Brazil is currently revelling in its status as an emerging nation and winning the hosting rights for the 2019 Summer Universiade would be another coup for the nation.
Baku is very much an emerging sporting city that has made no secret of its grand ambitions; notably including failed bids for the 2016 and 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Having held its first FISU event last year with the World University Boxing Championship, the city has also recently hosted the Under-17 Women's FIFA World Cup and the AIBA World Boxing Championships in 2011.
Baku is also set to host the inaugural European Games in 2015, and a Summer Universiade would certainly be a welcome addition to its growing portfolio.
Budapest has hosted the Games on two occasions; under their previous guise as the International University Games in 1935 and the Universiade in 1965.
The city has already hosted an array of university sport events, as well as events such as the European Aquatics Championships in 2006 and 2010, the 2004 European Women's Handball Championship and the IAAF European Athletics Championships last year.
With the European Judo Championships taking place in the Hungarian capital this month and the Figure Skating and Ice Dance European Championships in December, Budapest is a city with plenty of experience in delivering large-scale events and looks like a strong contender in the bid race.
The race to host the 2019 Winter Universiade features Krasnoyarsk in Siberia, which is bidding to host its first FISU event, and Valais in Switzerland, home of the Matterhorn in the Alps.
"We are very pleased with these five candidates" said FISU President Claude-Louis Gallien.
"Once again it is proof that University Sport is very much alive and cities are eager to host our flagship events to welcome and to share the University Sport spirit of Excellence in Mind and Body."
The deadline for submission of each bidding city's candidate dossier is set for September 14 this year, with inspection visits of the candidate cities due to be held from September 16 and October 20.
Cities will make their final bid presentation on November 9 in Brussels, before members of the FISU board award hosting rights for the 2019 Summer and Winter Universiades.
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