SHIYAN, Central China, Oct. 29 (Xinhua) -- The 3rd World Traditional Wushu Championships (WTWC) opened on Wednesday in Shiyan city, central China's Hubei province.
Nearly 2,000 excellent kungfu athletes will compete in Wudang Mountain, birthplace of Chinese traditional Wudang Wushu.
"These championships will provide a great opportunity for the public to witness great performances by all these athletes who have incredible agility and talent," Jacques Rogge, president of the International Olympic Committee(IOC), said in a congratulations letter.
"As the largest one since WTWC began in 2004, this will be a distinguished gathering with far-reaching significance for helping Chinese traditional Wushu culture better go into the world," said Wang Xiaolin, General Secretary of the International Wushu Federation (IWF) and also president of the Chinese Wushu Association (CWA).
During the three-day championships, athletes from 69 countries and regions, including Britain, the United States, Poland, Russia and Greece, will compete in 300 events like Taijiquan, Broadsword, Sword, Cudgel, and Spear.
It is the first time for some countries to participate in the Wushu Championships, such as Columbia and Brunei. Some countries like Japan and Canada also sent large delegations to this event, according to Wang.
"These all show the special fascination of Chinese Wushu and the enthusiasm in Wushu from people all over the world," he said.
This event also attracted lots of Wushu masters, experts, famous entrepreneurs and government officials from home and abroad.
A series of cultural events will also be held during the kungfu festival, including a grand welcome ceremony, lectures and performances given by kungfu masters.
As the quintessence of Chinese culture, Wushu has a history of 2,500 years. To better spread Wushu in the world, IWF was established in 1990 and officially approved by the IOC in 2002.
With years of efforts, IWF has made great progress in spreading Wushu to the whole world. The charm of Chinese kungfu has attracted more and more people from all over the world. A total of121 countries and regions have joined the IWF.
Sponsored by IWF, the biennial WTWC has become the one of the largest traditional Wushu events in the world and has become an important platform for Wushu's popularization. The first and second editions were held in Zhengzhou in 2004 and 2006 respectively.
Renowned as a world culture heritage, Wudang Mountain is the birthplace of one of the three major schools of Chinese traditional martial arts, with a saying that "respecting Wudang most in the south while admiring Shaolin most in the north".
Shiyan is recognized as a city with grand Wudang Mountain ancient architecture complex, gorgeous natural environment, and rich Taoism cultural resources.
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