By Tom Degun

Vitaly Mutko 1December 17 - Russia's Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko has marked 200 days until the start of the 2013 Universiade in Kazan next year by forecasting that the upcoming test events will be key in helping the city put the finishing touches on the event.

The Universiade is the biggest competition in the world for university athletes and Kazan 2013 will take place from July 6 until 17.

Tomorrow will see the 200 days to go landmark reached.

Mutko recently attended a Kazan 2013 Organising Committee meeting at the Government House of the Russian Federation where he said the test events earlier next year will help eliminate any problems that could occur at the event.

"The test events that we have already staged and are going to stage is a chance to evaluate our potential, to reveal problems and to take all appropriate measures to eliminate those problems," said Mutko.

"We actively test volunteers who are trained at 50 top higher education institutions of Russia.

"The volunteers have already worked at high-profile events in Sochi, London, Vladivostok and were highly commended.

"The Games will be the first multi-sports event in the history of modern Russia, in fact it's the Summer Olympics as the sports programme includes 27 sports and over 10,000 athletes will take part in the competitions."

Kazan 2013 medalsThe medals have been unveiled for the Kazan 2013 Universiade

Mutko added that he is hopeful of a strong performance from Russia at the event, but feels the competition at the 2013 Universiade will be extremely tough.

"We will face very strong competition as the United States of America, China and Japan are set to send their full-strength teams," he said.

"But I am hopeful we can finish top."

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