Eleven University of Queensland students – including four UQ Sports Achievement Scholarship recipients – will represent Australia’s Uniroos at the 2017 Summer Universiade in Taipei, Taiwan.
The event, known as World University Games, will be held from 19-30 August 2017 and attended by more than 7600 university students from 131 nations.
More than 150 Australian student-athletes will compete at the Games, with UQ to be represented in athletics, gymnastics, judo, swimming, and table tennis.
Artistic gymnast and scholarship holder Michael Mercieca will participate in his third World University Games, contesting individual and team events.
Mr Mercieca said the competition will be vital in the lead-up to the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
“The main goal in Taipei for Australia is to test our team in preparation for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, so it is important to see what configurations work best and where our team is lacking strength,” Mr Mercieca said.
“My personal goal is to make the all-around final at the Universiade.”
Six UQ athletes – Liam O’Brien and William White (javelin), Jessica Pickles (20km walk), Liam Adcock (long jump), Simon Greig (4x100m relay), and Daniel Mowen (4x400m relay) – will represent the Uniroos in athletics.
Commonwealth Games table tennis hopeful Jake Duffy will compete in singles, doubles and team events.
The scholarship recipient said he looked forward to representing the Uniroos for the first time.
“My aim is to fight hard, win as many matches as possible, and do our country and the University proud,” Mr Duffy said.
“I have had a good preparation in the build up to this event, and recently attended a 10-day training camp in Shanghai through International Table Tennis Federation Oceania.
“This camp, as well as my increased training regime at home, will hopefully allow me to find form and boost my performance during the Universiade.”
Sports Achievement Scholarship beneficiary Ellen Wright will participate in the women’s 52-57kg judo competition.
Ms Wright said she was pleased with her preparations ahead of Taipei.
“I recently competed in three European Cups in Hungary, Czech Republic and Germany, and participated in training camps at all three events,” Ms Wright said.
“Training with high level international athletes has been excellent preparation for the Universiade, and hopefully I can give a few of the big names entered in my category a good fight.”
Fellow scholarship recipient Gemma Cooney will swim in eight events for the Uniroos, with UQ’s Will Stockwell entered in four races.
The Summer Universiade is the largest multi-sport event after the Olympics.
UQ’s Dane Bird-Smith won a gold medal in the men’s 20km walk at the 2015 Summer Universiade in South Korea.