The Rhine-Ruhr region of Germany will host the 2025 edition of the FISU World University Games ©Rhine-Ruhr 2025 FISU World University Games

Former German heptathlete Birgit Clarius has said the International University Sports Federation (FISU) World University Games are "a wonderful experience for all young athletes" as the country prepares to host the 2025 summer edition in the Rhine-Ruhr region.

Clarius won gold in the women's heptathlon at the Summer Universiade in Sheffield in England in 1991, before going on to compete at the Barcelona 1992 Olympic Games.

She told the German University Sports Federation (ADH) the FISU Games can offer an opportunity for real progression in an athlete's career.

"The FISU Games are definitely a wonderful experience for all young athletes," said Clarius.

"You get together with athletes from all over the world, compete against each other, exchange ideas, cheer and celebrate with everyone.

"If the event takes place in your own country, it will certainly be more effective in the media.

"This competition can be a real stepping stone for further athletic careers."

On a personal level, Clarius revealed that her success in Sheffield was an "important milestone," and paved the way for her to compete at Barcelona 1992.

"The whole competitive sport has shaped my personality extremely strongly," she commented.

"The Sheffield win gave me a lot of confidence in the years to come.

Birgit Clarius won gold in the women's heptathlon at Sheffield 1991 ©Getty Images
Birgit Clarius won gold in the women's heptathlon at Sheffield 1991 ©Getty Images

"The pride and satisfaction in showing it to all doubters.

"The 1991 Universiade is the biggest next to my Olympic Games in Barcelona and winning medals at the World Indoor Championships.

"It is one of the three mega-highlights of my career as a heptathlete."

The Rhine-Ruhr region was confirmed as hosts of the 2025 FISU Games back in May.

This will be the second time Germany has held the event, after the then-West German city of Duisburg staged the 1989 edition.

Clarius expects that the country will prove "a wonderful host."

"I think the great strength of Germany is that we have a knowledgeable, interested and very fair audience in Germany," she said.

"When I think back to the Universiade in Duisburg in 1989, my first active Universiade, I always remember the happy pictures.

"The enthusiastic audience that cheered on all athletes - regardless of the nation.

"I miss this fairness at many events in other countries."

The delayed Chengdu 2021 FISU Games are due to be held from June 26 to July 7 2022, with the next edition in Yekaterinburg in Russia in 2023 before the event moves to Rhine-Ruhr in 2025.