BRICS Games builds sports, cultural links
The 2017 BRICS Games will help facilitate sports and cultural exchanges among countries of the influential bloc, according to an official with the State General Administration of Sport.
"The games, comprised of three events - basketball, volleyball and the traditional martial arts, or wushu - will be of great importance to promoting close sports and cultural ties between China and the other four members," said Yang Shande, deputy chief of the Competitive Sports Department of the General Administration of Sport of China.
Nearly 300 athletes from the BRICS countries will compete in the games, scheduled to open on Saturday in Guangzhou, Guangdong province.
The BRICS countries - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - account for 43 percent of the world population and a combined GDP of over $16 trillion, according to Xinhua News Agency.
The games will be an important part of the cooperation between BRICS countries this year, as the annual summit will be held in the coastal city of Xiamen in September when China takes the rotating chair of the bloc.
The games was an important consensus reached during the eighth BRICS summit in Goa, India, in 2016.
"Traditional culture like Chinese lion dances as well as India's yoga will be performed during the opening ceremony to demonstrate the rich culture in the five countries," said Yang.
China will send a delegation of 53 athletes, coaches and technical staff to the games.
The Chinese national basketball team, under the management of Du Feng, will include some young prominent players. China will also send its under-22 national women's volleyball team.
"BRICS countries will send their athletes to member countries for training and playing in some major local competitions as each member country has already developed strength in some typical sports events. We believe such exchanges will help further ties between these countries," said Yang.