Celebrated Italian athletes turned out in their numbers as the team draw ceremony for the Naples 2019 Summer Universiade took place at the host city’s Stazione Marittima.
Ten draws were held across the sports of basketball, football, rugby sevens, volleyball and water polo with men’s and women’s tournaments set to be held in each of the five.
Teams were divided into four pools for tournaments with 12 teams or more, including those in basketball, football and volleyball.
For rugby sevens and water polo, there were two pools.
The teams were first divided into tiers based on previous Universiade results, International University Sports Federation (FISU) rankings and the ranking of the International Federation governing the sport.
Teams drawn by tiers were then allocated to different pools, to ensure fair distribution.
Making the women’s basketball draw was former Italian international Liliana Mabel Bocchi, who, as well as making more than 120 appearances for the senior national team, won eight national championships during her career.
She is a member of the International Basketball Federation Hall of Fame,
Pool A is made up of Ukraine, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Japan, while Pool B comprises Portugal, Romania, Russia and Argentina.
The United States have been drawn into Pool C alongside Chinese Taipei, Slovakia and Mexico with China, Finland, Australia and Canada allocated to Pool D.
The men’s basketball draw, made by Italian Basketball Federation President Manfredo Fucile, saw the Czech Republic, Israel, Australia and Mexico drawn into Pool A.
Pool B features Latvia, Croatia, Russia and Argentina, while Pool C pits China against Finland, the United States and Ukraine.
Germany, Canada, Italy and Norway make up Pool D.
On hand to do the women’s football draw was Chievo Verona Valpo forward Valeria Pirone, a former Italian international with more than 200 appearances to her name for Napoli.
Pool A contains North Korea, Canada and South Africa, while Pool B comprises Mexico, Russia and China.
Ireland are in Pool C alongside Brazil and South Korea, while Italy, Japan and the US slot into Pool D.
The men’s football draw, made by Napoli goalkeeper Alex Meret – an Italy under-21 international – saw South Korea, Uruguay and Ireland drawn into Pool A.
Pool B features Italy, Mexico and Ukraine, while Pool C pits France against South Africa and Brazil.
Argentina, Russia and Japan make up Pool D.
Presiding over the men’s volleyball draw was Giacomo Giretto, an ex-Italian international who was part of the World Championship-winning squad in 1994.
There was a request from the Organising Committee to open four additional slots in the draw so Italy could participate and, after some deliberation, the FISU leadership agreed to this.
It means this is the only event with 20 teams.
Pool A sees Hong Kong take on Chile, Chinese Taipei, Ukraine and the Czech Republic, while Pool B comprises China, the US, Russia, Portugal and South Korea.
Canada have been drawn in Pool C alongside Brazil, France, Iran and Poland with Japan, Mexico, Switzerland, Italy and Argentina allocated to Pool D.
The women’s volleyball draw, carried out by Italian international Martina Ferrara, saw defending champions Russia drawn in Pool A with Canada, Thailand and Mexico.
Pool B features Brazil, Germany, Ukraine and China, while Pool C pits Chinese Taipei against the Czech Republic, Hungary and Argentina.
The US, Switzerland, Japan and Italy lock horns in Pool D.
Completing today’s proceedings were the water polo and rugby sevens draws.
In water polo, the women’s draw placed Hungary, Canada, the Czech Republic, Japan and France in Pool A and the US, Australia, Italy, China and Russia in Pool B.
Pool A of the men’s draw features Russia, the US, France, South Korea and Great Britain, while Pool B comprises Croatia, Italy, Hungary, Japan and Australia.
In rugby sevens, the women’s draw placed Canada, France, Japan and Italy in Pool A and Russia, South Africa, Belgium and Argentina in Pool B.
Pool A of the men’s draw features Argentina, Romania, Russia and South Africa, while Pool B comprises France, Japan, Italy and Canada.
The Naples 2019 Summer Universiade is scheduled to take place from July 3 to 14.
Eighteen sports have been included on the programme.