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China 'most popular host of sporting events'

LAUSANNE (AFP) –

Since the 2008 Olympics, China has hosted the Asian Games in 2010 and the Summer Universiade in 2011.

Athletes compete in the 2008 Olympics men’s 20km walk outside the Birds Nest Stadium in Beijing. China is the number one venue for major sporting events but Russia is set to overtake it in 2013, sports analysts said Wednesday.

China is the number one venue for major sporting events but Russia is set to overtake it in 2013, sports analysts said Wednesday.

Taking into account nearly 700 world championships and global sports events between 2007 and 2018 and weighing up their impact for host nations, researchers Sportcal found that China was far and away the most attractive home nation in 2012.

But that is to change from 2013 as Russia prepares to play host to no less than six global sports festivals in the next six years, Sportcal said, citing the Winter Olympics in 2014 and the FIFA World Cup in 2018.

China’s golden period for sport dates back to 2008, when it hosted the Olympic Games in Beijing.

But since then it also attracted other premier events including the Asian Games in 2010 and the Summer Universiade in 2011.

Looking ahead, China is to host the Youth Olympic Games in 2014 and the World Athletic Championships in 2015, and it will have hosted the highest number of individual world championships between 2007 and 2018, Sportcal said.

In second place — but almost 20,000 points behind China in the first Global Sports Impact index — Britain got a boost from hosting the 2012 Olympics in London, scoring 39,393 points.

Russia will host the Winter Olympics in 2014 and the FIFA World Cup in 2018

The Fisht Olympic stadium under construction for the 2014 Winter Olympics in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi. Russia is preparing to play host to no less than six global sports festivals in the next six years, Sportcal said.

Of the other events in the index that are constantly rotated throughout the world and hosted in more than one continent, Britain is to hold the Commonwealth Games in 2014, the Rugby World Cup in 2015 and the World Athletics Championships in 2017.

For the moment the UK’s busy sports calendar puts it just ahead of Russia, which scores 39,376 points in the index.

Major events on Russia’s turf include the World Athletics Championships and the Summer Universiade in 2013, the Winter Olympics and Paralympics in 2014, the FINA World Swimming Championships in 2015 and the FIFA World Cup in 2018.

Thanks to all of these premier competitions, Sportcal identifies Russia as the most successful country in attracting sporting events between 2013 and 2018.

In the rest of the global index of sporting nations, Italy pips Canada to fourth place.

That strong finish by the European nation was thanks to the number and range of world championships it has hosted, while the north American country’s strong showing highlighted its success in attracting winter sports events, such as the Winter Olympics in 2010.

Germany came sixth, followed by France and Brazil, which is due to host the FIFA World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016.

The United States and the Netherlands pick up the last places in the top 10.

Of the top 20 nations in the index, Denmark comes last.

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