Diver Sarah Barrows carries the flag at World University Games Opening Ceremony

Diver Sarah Barrows carries the flag at World University Games Opening Ceremony

Sarah Barrows leads Team GBR into the Opening Ceremony

Diver Sarah Barrows carried the flag for British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) Great Britain team at the Opening Ceremony of the World University Games in Shenzhen, China. Earlier in the day women’s water polo met Canada in their first match, producing a thrilling 8-8 draw.

Barrows, currently studying a degree in Sport & Exercise Science at Leeds Metropolitan, was selected as flag bearer from a delegation of 220.

“I was really excited when I found out. I was a bit nervous in case I tripped up, but it’s really good to be selected as a diver because diving is quite a minority sport. It’s getting bigger every competition we do, so it’s nice to be recognised. Carrying the flag at the World University Games is quite an honour,” said Barrows.

The Opening Ceremony took place at Shenzhen Bay Sports Centre, the 20,000 seat stadium at full capacity with over 3,000 student actors performing. Barrows led Team GBR into the stadium along with more than 150 countries to walk through the ‘Gate of the World’, a huge LED wall, onto the ‘Youth Boulevard’.

“Everyone is in good spirits. The way the Chinese hold together such a festival is brilliant, the organisation has been key. I’m really excited about the whole thing,” said Barrows.

Musical performance at the opening ceremony

The ‘Gate of the World’ standing 26 metres high opened to reveal the Universiade torch, spectacularly lit as the climax to the Opening Ceremony attended by China President Hu Jintao and President of the International University Sports Federation George E. Killian.

Sarah has recently returned from the World Swimming Championships in Shanghai with the Diving team’s top result, placing 4th in the 10m Synchronised Diving. She has competed at the Commonwealth Games in 2006 and 2010 where she finished 4th in the 10m Synchronised event in Delhi. She has also competed at three European Championships and two Diving World Series Events. Sarah has been British Champion seven times (10m Individual & 10m Synchronised events).

The women’s water polo team met Canada in their first match of the tournament at the Shenzhen Bao’an Natatorium. Captain Angela Winstanley-Smith scored the equalising goal 22 seconds from time to snatch an 8-8 draw with the more fancied Canada.

Team GBR grabbed a 4-3 lead at halftime, went 6-4 down after a Canadian surge but equalised at 6-6 by three-quarter time.

Francesca Snell regained the lead early in the fourth but Canada went 8-7 ahead only for Winstanley-Smith to produce a knife blow on extra-man advantage.

Team GBR’s undoubted star was goalkeeper Rosemary Morris with an exceptional 14 saves.

Team GBR set up a goal against Canada in women's water polo

For more information about Team GBR's involvement in the World University Games go to www.bucs.org.uk/shenzhen.

The official sponsor and international teamwear supplier of Team GBR is ‘Xtep’, a Chinese leisurewear manufacturer.

BUCS is the national governing body for higher education sport in the UK, and the organising body for Great Britain teams in international University Sport. It offers a comprehensive, multi-sport competition structure and manages the development of services and facilities for participative, grass-roots sport and healthy campuses through to high-performance athletes.

The patron of BUCS is HRH The Princess Royal, herself an Olympian and IOC member.

Main stadium of Universiade Centre