World Student Games (Schools)

Vila Real de Santo António hosted the first event of this type to be held in Portugal last week, stepping in for the originally chosen venue of Manchester, which encountered organisational problems. Previous experience in staging two student cross country volleyball and orienteering championships, in addition to last year’s table tennis competition for the same age group in Tavira, swung the ISF’s decision in the Algarve’s direction.

Over 500 athletes representing 24 countries competed over the five-day meeting, which was a great success. Portugal may have a future Olympic champion in 17-year-old Marcos Caldeira, who won the individual long jump with a leap of 7.14 metres, the only competitor out of over 70 hopefuls to clear the seven-metre mark.

China topped both the boys and girls school teams classifications, but in the national select events, England’s boys triumphed with a strong over all performance, while Poland took the girls’ title. The Portuguese teams finished 11th and 10th respectively.