More than 30 nations are due to be represented at the International University Sports Festival ©Yekaterinburg 2023

Athletes from 36 countries are set to participate at the International University Sports Festival in Yekaterinburg.

The Russian city was originally scheduled to hold the International University Sports Federation Summer World University Games this year but its hosting rights were suspended following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

Instead, Russia has organised the staging of its own event, which is due to run from Saturday (August 19) until August 31.

Participating countries largely come from BRICS, Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and the Commonwealth of Independent States – all political alliances that Russia is a member of.

Brazil and India will be represented but no university team from fellow BRICS member South Africa will be present.

Other nations and states present include Azerbaijan, Argentina, Armenia, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bahrain, Belarus, Venezuela, Vietnam, Guatemala, India, Iraq, Indonesia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Cuba, Mexico, Mongolia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Serbia, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Turkey, Uzbekistan, Uganda, Sri Lanka, Ecuador, and South Ossetia.

A 14-strong sports programme has been confirmed, with athletes set to compete across badminton, 3x3 basketball, boxing, volleyball, judo, futsal, table tennis, swimming, diving, sambo, wrestling, tennis, taekwondo and gymnastics.

Teams from Bahrain and Pakistan were the first to arrive in Yekaterinburg earlier this week for the International University Sports Festival.

Pakistan have entered athletes into tennis, taekwondo and sambo.

The Bahrain team arrive in Yekaterinburg for the International University Sports Federation ©Yekaterinburg 2023
The Bahrain team arrive in Yekaterinburg for the International University Sports Federation ©Yekaterinburg 2023

"We are happy to be in Russia, in Ekaterinburg," said Muhammad Iqbal Murtaza, head of the Pakistani delegation.

"We have the honour to represent our country at the University International Sports Festival.

"I would like to thank the Russian Government and the Organising Committee for their help.

"The welcome we received was very warm and bright.

"We did not expect that."

Alexander Chernov, director of the Yekaterinburg 2023 Organising Committee, welcomed the delegations.

"It is a very important and responsible task to meet the first delegations," said Chernov.

"We are happy to welcome the Bahraini and Pakistani representatives to the Ural land.

"They will be the first to see and appreciate our Athletes Village.

"I am sure they will like everything."