The 2014 Asian Games may have drawn to a close, but the eyes of the sporting world will still be firmly fixed on South Korea as it gets prepared to host another major international sporting event in just under nine months' time, the Gwangju 2015 Summer Universiade.
Around 40 members of Gwangju 2015 were present in Incheon from periods of 14 days to 40 days, across 15 different areas of the Asian Games.
They worked first-hand in the operations of the Games in order to gain a better understanding of the task ahead of them, with plans now in place to update and supplement the venue operation plans and staff manuals based on the reports from the staff members returning from the Asian Games.
One such official was Kim Yeong-gyeong, charged with the task of serving as an assistant at the front desk of the Media Village for a period totalling 33 days.
"This opportunity allowed me to get a heads-up on situations that will likely be repeated at the Universiade, such as assigning rooms, handling complaints, and identifying errors and accidents reported," he said following the conclusion of the Games last Saturday (October 4).
"After gaining this experience, I have greater confidence that the Gwangju Universiade will be a success."
As Gwangju enters its final preparation phase ahead of next year's Universiade, members of the Organising Committee have continued their efforts in visiting all 70 competition and non-competition venues in order to test out the adequacy of the venue operation plans and make any supplementary changes if necessary.
From August 12 to September 5 test events were carried out for five sports - judo, football, baseball, handball and volleyball - allowing Gwangju 2015 to test the state of progress and readiness at a number of venues, while also getting a first-hand look at the managing capacity of the staff, adequacy of the equipment and devices being used, as well as cooperation with each sport federation.
In terms of venues, all have been developed, reconstructed or renovated in accordance to organiser's aims and objectives to build substantial infrastructure while reducing investment costs.
Only three venues are newly built - the Aquatics Centre, multi-purpose gymnasium and tennis centre - whereas the rest of the facilities are being refurbished to be brought up to international standards.
Both the Aquatics Centre and gymnasium are more than 50 per cent complete, with construction likely to be finished by March 2015, it is claimed.
Also, the Athletes' Village is being designed using urban regeneration through rebuilding worn-out downtown apartments.
The frame work of the 35 buildings has been completed with around two thirds of construction now underway.
After reviewing the Village at Incheon, a review process will now begin to assess whether any new features should be included at Gwangju 2015.
The five-year recruitment and training process is also continuing as Gwangju 2015 seeks to recruit more than 60,000 volunteers and provide extensive training so that they will be able to become the hands and feet of those attending the Universiade, including the athletes from 170 nations across the globe.
Sponsorship agreements have already been completed with Asiana Airlines and Kia Motors as Gwangju 2015 looks to safe and comfortable transport services for the duration of the Games.
Asiana Airlines will provide international transport support in the format of discounted flights and extra baggage, while Kia Motors will supply 1,500 vehicles for the transportation of participants during the Universiade.
A deal with Lotte Chilsung, one of the largest beverage manufacturers in South Korea, will see the company provide water and other drinks for the Games as an official Univerisade sponsor.
Accommodation has already been selected for the "headquarters hotel" which will require 500 rooms for key personnel involved in the Universiade, with negotiations now underway with the International University Sports Federation in order to complete that arrangement.
Other accommodation for media, judges, referees and other staff is also in the process of being secured, according to Gwangju 2015.
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