By James Crook

big 224796420130717-7424-a04juoJuly 17 - Kazan 2013 has come to an end with a spectacular Closing Ceremony as Russia celebrated the triumphs of its team, which amassed a record-breaking 292 medals over the course of what has been undoubtedly one of the highest profile Universiades in history. 

Labelled as "an evening where dreams come true", the curtain came down on the World University Games in front of a sell-out crowd at the newly-built 45,000-capacity Kazan Arena.

The ceremony featured performances from the likes of Russian artists Garik Sukachov and Sergey Lazarev, and world famous South Korean boy band Exo.

The Universiade flag handover ceremony saw Kazan Mayor Ilsur Metshin return the International University Sports Federation (FISU) flag for it to be presented to his Gwangju counterpart, Kang Un-tae, to mark the South Korean city's hosting of the next Summer Universiade in 2015.

"We had a great responsibility as a host country," Metshin said.

"Gale-force wind, heat, thunderstorm waited for us during the Games period, but all the systems worked in a right, consistent way and they solved emergency situations in a proper time.

"My special words of gratitude are for Kazan residents for their patience and tolerance."

DSC 2108The Universiade flag was handed back to FISU, who awarded it to
the next host city, Gwangju

Russia secured 155 gold, 75 silver and 62 bronze medals at their home Universiade, to put them 215 medals clear of the team that finished second on the overall medal table, former Universiade champions China, who finished with a total of 77 medals.

The previous record for gold medals at a Summer Games was 75, set by last host nation China at Shenzhen 2011.

Four Russian athletes took four gold medals at Kazan 2013: gymnast Margarita Mamun, and swimmers Yuliya Yefimova, Viktoriiya Andreeva - who also won a silver medal - and Vladimir Morozov - who also took silver and bronze.

The performances of the athletes in Kazan have received praise from Russian President Vladimir Putin, who spoke of the high standards being shown earlier this week. 

"All the athletes are very good," he said.

"They are world champions, Olympic champions from Europe and other continents."

And President Putin has also been particularly impressed by the results achieved by the Russian team, who smashed the all-time record for gold medals won at a Summer Universiade with four days of competition to spare.

2013-07-07t042210z 35480911 gm1e9770y9e01 rtrmadp 3 russiaRussian President Vladimir Putin, who spoke at the Opening Ceremony of the Games, has been impressed by the standard of competition at Kazan 2013

"We're seeing the results," he said, referring to the rigorous preparation that has occurred in the country as it gets ready to embark on a golden decade of sport.

Kazan 2013 also produced huge demand from spectators, with over half a million tickets sold before the first day of events - a new record for the Universiade. 

The 2013 Winter Universiade, which occurs biennially in the same year as the Summer Universiade, will take place in Trentino, Italy from December 11 to December 21.

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