September 14 - The four cities bidding to host the 2019 Summer and Winter Universiades handed over their final candidature dossiers to senior members of the International University Sports Federation (FISU) at its headquarters in Brussels today.
Delegates from the four cities were invited by FISU President Claude-Louis Gallien, who was joined by vice-President Luciano Cabral, first vice-President Oleg Matytsin and secretary general and chief executive Eric Saintrond, to present their bids and submit their dossiers, which was sealed so that it could no longer be modified.
Saintrond presented a video looking back on this year's Universiade in Kazan, before delegates from Baku, Budapest and Brasilia, the three cities bidding for the Summer Universiade, as well as the sole Winter Universiade candidate, Krasnoyarsk in Russia officially handed over their dossiers.
Krasnoyarsk had been expected to run against Valais from Switzerland for the hosting rights to the 2019 winter event, but the Swiss region withdrew its candidature earlier this year, indicating that it plans to bid for the 2021 event instead.
"This is a very important day for the region and the citizens of Krasnoyarsk," said Ekaterina Peshkova, vice-Governor of the region of Krasnoyarsk, the third largest city in Siberia.
"We are eager to show the whole world what a genuine winter is by organising the 2019 Winter Universiade".
With this year's Summer Universiade in Kazan representing the first time the event was staged in Russia, Krasnoyarsk in 2019 will be the first time the winter version will have taken place in the country.
The 2013 Winter Universiade will be hosted in Trentino, Italy, in December, while Granada, Spain, and Almaty in Kazakhstan are due to host the 2015 and 2017 events respectively.
Meanwhile, the race to host the 2019 Summer Universiade looks set to go right to the wire before FISU are due to announce the official host cities for both Games following final presentations in Brussels on November 9.
Having already been awarded hosting rights for the inaugural 2015 European Games and the 2017 Islamic Solidarity Games, Azerbaijani capital Baku is looking to make it a hat-trick of major multi-sport events by staging the 2019 Universiade.
Baku is also expected to bid for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympics following unsuccessful campaigns for the 2016 and 2020 Games.
"The city of Baku has never organised such a big event," said President of the National University Sports Federation (NUSF) of Azerbaijan, Tofig Khanaliyev.
"Therefore, the organisation of the Summer Universiade would allow [us] to promote sport in Azerbaijan and improve sports facilities in a city where the youth has an increasing importance."
Brasilia is looking to become the second Brazilain city to host a Universiade, following Porto Alegre in 1963, and with the FIFA World Cup 2014 and the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games on the horizon, officials there believe now is the right time to build on the interest generated in sport by those upcoming events.
"Brazil will host the FIFA World Cup in 2014 as well as the Olympic Games in Rio in 2016," said Julio Cesar Ribeiro, Secretary for Sport of Brazil.
"Therefore, we consider that 2019 will be the right time to organise the Summer Universiade in Brasilia."
Meanwhile, Budapest, which completes the trio of capital cities bidding for the event, has a similar vision to Brasilia as to why it should be awarded the Universiade.
Having already staged the Universiade in 1965, Hungarian officials from the 2019 bid believe that hosting the event in six years time comes at an ideal moment in the calendar of events the country is due to stage.
"Hungary has always been involved in university sport," said Dr Zoltan Mauzsa, Deputy Secretary of State for Higher Education and Science in Hungary.
"In 2017 the city of Györ will host the Olympic Youth Festival and in 2021 Budapest will be the host of the FINA World Championships.
"We would like to organise the Universiade between those two events in order to make the best of the media coverage of the Universiade."
Baku, Brasilia or Budapest will be looking to follow Gwanju in 2015 and Taipei in 2017 as Universiade hosts.
Inspection of facilities in the four 2019 bid cities are due take place between September 16 and October 20.
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April 2013: Candidate cities for 2019 Summer and Winter Universiade unveiled