Two WUR students compete in World University Games

The fencers represent Wageningen.
Nederlandse studentensporters zwaaien met de Nederlandse vlag tijdens de openingsceremonie van de World University Games in Chengdu, China Dutch athletes during the opening ceremony. Picture FISU

This week, the FISU World University Games are taking place in China. 64 Dutch student-athletes, including two WUR students, are competing for medals in Chengdu. One of them is fencer Rafaël Tulen, Master’s student in Data Science for Food and Health.

‘I’ve only just returned from the World Fencing Championship in Milan’, Rafaël Tulen tells us on a video call from China. ‘That was last weekend. When I got home, I had to wash my things real quick and repack my bag.’ On Monday morning, he arrived in Chengdu. ‘So I’m a bit tired now. There were also lots of crying children on the plane, which didn’t help in terms of getting some rest.’

Fencer Rafaël Tulen at the World University Games in Chengdu, China.

Long season

The fencing tournament starts today and continues through Monday. Tulen is due to compete on Thursday, when the epee discipline is scheduled. He will compete against approximately 100 opponents, many of whom he already knows from other international competitions. ‘The level here is quite high.’ His opponents include a compatriot and a fellow WUR student: Norwegian Arthur Grosse, Bachelor’s student in Environmental Sciences. Yesterday the men spent the day training; today is a rest day. At the end of the day on Thursday, the new student world champions will be announced.

Tulen also attended the World University Games in 2019, where he finished in 25th position. He is a little cautious about his expectations in this tournament. ‘It’s been a long season, with eight World Cups, a European Championship, and a World Cup. This is a nice extra to end the season. I’ll see how far I get.’


On Sunday, Tulen is flying home again, which leaves him with a bit of time to play the tourist. ‘We are in a really big sports village where there are many events, including all kinds of virtual reality games.’ The Chengdu region is also known for its panda breeding centre, a fact that Tulen was already aware of. ‘Maybe I’ll just go to the panda museum.’

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to write a comment.