DKU student-athletes shine at inter-university tournament

Sports teams from Duke Kunshan University put in a series of outstanding performances at the fourth XJTLU Cup in Suzhou in mid-April, winning competitive matches in volleyball, football, badminton, and basketball.

The tournament featured 450 student-athletes from DKU, hosts Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XJTLU), New York University Shanghai (NYU Shanghai), the University of Nottingham Ningbo China (UNNC), and Wenzhou-Kean University (WKU).

DKU emerged victorious in women’s volleyball after the team won all three of its games, much to the joy of the traveling DKU spectators. Captain Yuri Park praised her team’s positive energy.

The men’s soccer team also made its mark, with captain Ruicheng Xie scoring in a narrow  1-2 defeat  against XJTLU. He said he was proud of the team’s efforts and achievements.

Other impressive DKU performances included the badminton team’s 3-2 defeat of NYU Shanghai, the men’s basketball team edging WKU 31-30, and the women’s basketball team’s comprehensive 16-4 defeat of NYU Shanghai.

“It was a great experience,” said Marko Potkonjak, head basketball coach at DKU. “There were a lot of challenges for our men’s and women’s players, but they were able to respond and learn from the other teams.”

DKU teams showed outstanding sportsmanship throughout the tournament, and their positive attitude, energy, and perseverance were palpable throughout.

This year’s XJTLU Cup on April 15 and 16 marked a return for the Sino-foreign international tournament after a hiatus due to the pandemic. It saw teams compete in eight categories: men’s and women’s basketball, football, table tennis, tennis, badminton, and men’s and women’s volleyball.

The annual tournament brings together student-athletes from diverse backgrounds and cultures, showcasing athletic talent and promoting international exchanges and learning.