World Games 2013 Cali: Highlighting Friday's Top Events in Colombia

Alex Ballentine@Ballentine_AlexFeatured ColumnistJuly 26, 2013

The 2013 World Games may not garner as much notoriety and attention as the Olympics, but the Games provide fans with the opportunity to catch world-class athletes representing their country. 

From the grace of dancers and rhythmic gymnasts to the unmitigated strength of Sumo wrestlers and powerlifters to the iron focus and precision of field archers and sports climbers, these games have a little bit of something from everyone. 

Thursday served as the kickoff for the global event, but Friday is when some of the world's best will truly kick off the action as several events get underway. 

A full schedule for the day's events can be found at the Games' official site. Here's a look at some of the top events that will be going down on Friday. 



Other than lifesaving, which will have eight finals on the first day of competition, no sport will hand out more medals on Friday than Sumo. 

In all the sport will hold six of its eight finals on Friday as the Men's and Women's lightweight, middleweight and heavyweight classifications will all be decided, with the Men's and Women's openweight classes to be settled on Saturday. 

On the Men's side, Japan will be looking to get off to a good start in the medal count. It claimed two gold, two silver and one bronze medal in the 2009 games. 

On the women's side, an epic rematch could be in the making. Russia's Anna Zhigalova and Ukraine's Olga Davydko battled for the heavyweight and openweight medals in the 2009 games and will return to compete for them once again. 

Zhigalova got the better of Davydko four years ago, but there are plenty of other competitors who would love to make sure they don't see each other in the finals again. 



There are few sports as diverse as lifesaving, which will hand out eight gold medals on Friday with finals in Men's and Women's manakin carry with fins 100-meter, obstacle swim 200-meter, obstacle relay 4x50-meter and super lifesaver 200-meter. 

Headlining the group of athletes in the events will be Shannon Eckstein of Australia. He became only the second four-time World Oceanman title winner at Rescue 2012 but hasn't found too much success at the World Games. 

He only has two medals at the Games with just one gold, but he'll be a favorite to add a few more to his collection. 


Fin Swimming

Few World Games events have as much history as Fin Swimming.

The unique aquatic competition has been a part of the Games since they started in 1981. This year's event should add to the rich history as the top fin swimmers in the world will be present in Colombia.

Among the most elite in the event will be Bao Zhen Zhu, who has racked up an incredible nine medals over multiple fin swimming events in the Games. Once again she'll look to take China to the top of the sport.

The country trails Russia by just five medals in the event all-time.