ST. PETERSBURG, April 26 (Xinhua) -- The regional heats for the 13th edition of the international Chinese Bridge Competition for university students of Chinese were held Saturday at the Confucius Institute of St. Petersburg State University in Russia's northern capital.
A total of 13 students from local Universities took part in the event.
The contestants each offered speeches on a self-chosen topic, showcased their talents with a Chinese cultural display, and answered three questions testing their general knowledge of all things Chinese. The strong competition revealed a high level of spoken Chinese and a solid understanding of Chinese language and culture across the board. During the talent show segment, contestants expressed their love of Chinese culture through a series of lyrical songs and poetry recitations.
This year's event, organized by St. Petersburg State University in conjunction with the local Confucius Institute, offered prizes for first, second and third places as well as special prizes for best oral performance and best cultural presentation. The overall first prize was won by Artem Antonov, a student from the Philosophy Department of St. Petersburg State University. His guitar rendition of Descendants of the Dragon received thunderous applause. The top five finishers at this year's event will represent the St. Petersburg region at the 3rd Russia-wide Chinese Bridge national finals in Vladivostok later this year.
The Chinese Bridge Competition is an annual event held since 2002 for university students of Chinese language and culture, organized by the Office of Chinese Language Council International. The competition is made up of local heats held abroad and a world final held each year in China.
Over the last 12 years, more than 200,000 students from over 80 countries have taken part in the Competition, showcasing their talents and passion for Chinese language and culture. More than 1, 000 of these students have been selected to go to China to compete in semi-finals and finals, turning the Chinese Bridge into a veritable Olympic Games for students of Chinese from all over the world.