September 25 - Kazan Mayor Ilsur Metshin has said the city has picked up "invaluable" experience from its visit to the London 2012 Olympic Games, less than a year before it hosts the 2013 Summer Universiade.
Metshin spoke during a World University Games progress report, which was presented during a meeting of the International University Sports Federation (FISU) Executive Committee in the Tatarstan capital.
The event is the second largest sport event in terms of size following the Summer Olympics, and Metshin drew on London's hosting of those Games last month as vital experience for Kazan.
"The experience of hosting large-scale sporting events is extremely important for us, literally a month ago London played host to the 30th Summer Olympic Games that we visited as part of the Russian delegation," Metshin explained.
"This trip allowed us to stock our minds with knowledge and gain invaluable experience regarding the management of a large-scale sporting event.
"We have only one year left to make the most of the best global experience and put it to good use in 2013 during the World University Games, the glorious festival of youth and sports."
FISU President Claude-Louis Gallen chaired the meeting, while Kazan 2013 director general Vladimir Leonov updated the board on preparations.
Metshin welcomed participants to the city, which has recently held three test events – the University World Championships in canoe sprint, shooting and rowing.
Two more test events are to come by the end of the year – the Russian Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships and the Sambo World Cup.
"We will make every effort to turn the 2013 World University Games in Kazan into a mega festival of youth and sports that will bring together young people from all over the world and to make our visitors' stay in the capital of Tatarstan as comfortable and memorable as possible," Metshin continued.
"Today Kazan is actively gearing up for the forthcoming international event.
"Much attention is paid to the improvement of the city's historical centre and areas along the Universiade routes.
"The city's look is rapidly changing ahead of the Games; new roads, bridges and traffic interchanges are being constructed.
"Modernisation of the road and street infrastructure is going on at a fast pace."
Kazan is being remodelled, with 27 sports venues put into operation since the city was awarded the right to host the Games four years' ago.
Of the remaining venues being constructed, nine will be ready by the end of September, four more by the end of the year and the rest by spring 2013.
Kazan 2013 deputy director general Azat Kadyrov delivered the report, saying: "Just a few months have passed since our last meeting but during this period we managed to make a few considerable steps forward in the lead up to the 27th Summer Universiade in Kazan.
"We work closely with Federal and Republican Government bodies engaged in the preparations for the Summer Universiade.
"We have support of the country's leaders and our colleagues from FISU.
"We extend our deep gratitude to you all for that."
He added that designs of the Games Torch and medals, the appointment of a ticket operator and an official sports clothing supplier were all confirmed at a supervisory executive directorate board meeting, which was chaired by Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko, in June.
The Universiade will be the largest event held in Russia since the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow, and will act as a dress rehearsal of sorts for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics and Paralympics, and the 2018 FIFA World Cup, which are being held in the country.
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