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Kaohsiung Artistic Roller Skating Champs to open

KAOHSIUNG, Taiwan -- The 53rd World Artistic Roller Skating Championships is slated to open at I Shou University in the southern county of Kaohsiung Saturday, marking the first time that Taiwan is hosting the annual event, according to an official of the Chinese Taipei Roller Sports Federation.

The 15-day sports event returns to Asia after a 25-year hiatus during which no Asian state ever bid to host it, the association’s president Chiang Ping-cheng said Monday. The championships will bring together 1,200 athletes from 27 countries in five continents, with Taiwan fielding the largest team of 97 competitors.

Chiang said Taiwanese skaters have achieved great success in recent competitions, as evidenced by the fact that Taiwan clinched 20 gold, 25 silver and 27 bronze medals in the 13th Asian Roller Sports Championships held Oct. 15-21 in Haining City in the southeastern Chinese province of Zhejiang. The championships attracted more than 300 athletes from 11 countries, according to Chiang.

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