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5 Athletes to Watch at the Universiade 2011 Shenzhen has an article named "5 Athletes to Watch at the Universiade 2011 Shenzhen". By Tim Cheung. Photos from

It isn't called "Little Olympics" for nothing: Here are the sports stars of tomorrow

The 26th World University Games will be held in Shenzhen from August 12- 23, hosting athletes from over 150 countries and regions.
If "university games" and "Shenzhen" evoke "amateur," think again. The games, also known as Summer Universiade, is an inter-university competition at its highest level where Olympic stars like U.S. freestyle sprint swimmer Cullen Jones and Chinese hurdler Liu Xiang launched their careers.
The games are sometimes called "Little Olympics" as it is the second largest sporting event after the Olympics in terms of number of athletes. Close to 9,000 emerging athletes will be competing in 24 sports for a total of 306 gold medals. 

This year's Summer Universiade will see a strong group of starlets shining in preparation for the London Olympics 2012. Here are the ones to watch.

1. Chen Ruolin
Chen Ruolin dives at the Shenzhen Universiade.

Chen Ruolin, Olympic platform diving gold medallist in 2008, will be participating. It isn't cheating to have an Olympic gold medallist at the university games.

Chen is currently 19 and enrolled in the School of Public Administration and Policy Renmin University of China. She also won the platform diving title at the World Championships last month. Find her twisting and turning at the 10-meter platform dive at the Games.

2. Aghasi Aghasyan
You try lifting this much and look pretty.

Armenian weightlifting champ, Aghasi Aghasyan, will be pumping iron and representing his country at the Universiade. He lifted 316 kilograms in the snatch, clean and jerk combination to win last year's World University Weightlifting Championships. 

Find him in action in the 77-kilogram weight category.

3. Ben Dowdell
Dowdell's dribbles continue to surprise his opponents, and himself.

Regarded as one of Australian basketball's brightest talents, Ben Dowdell started for Santa Clara University in California in all 38 games last season and in total has played 128 games -- a school record.

Although undrafted in this year's NBA Draft day, Aussie forward Dowdell could be firing his team to glory.

4. Nur Ayuni Farhana

Malaysian hopeful Nur Ayuni Farhana ready to fire.

Malaysia is banking on its top athletes to break their medal-drought at the Universiade. The 10-meter shooter Nur Ayuni Farhana gunned down a gold medal at the International Junior Shooting Championships and is among the hopefuls to bag Malaysia's first medal.

5. Courtney Hurley
Courtney Hurley -- next stop, Olympics?

American fencing star Courtney Hurley, although only 21, is widely known in fencing. Together with her older sister, Kelly, the Hurley sisters have already accomplished plenty and pocketed numerous medals.

Young Hurley has one eye on the gold medal at this Universiade and another on a ticket to the London Olympics.

Tickets are now on sale at, alternatively, visit for more information.

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