Saransk is the capital city of the Republic of Mordovia, just a one-hour flight east from Moscow. The Sports School for Olympic Reserves in Athletics was opened in the town in 1995. Its emergence allowed for the victory of Irina Stankina, who won walking gold in the World Championships in Gothenburg.

The Mordovian mythological bird ‘Inenarmun’ is the symbol of the host city, adorned by a traditional Mordovian pattern of red, green and blue to represent arts and crafts and, of course, a football. Saransk is also a university town, attended by 20,000 students from 58 regions in Russia and 57 different countries.

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