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FIBA and its longstanding partner Tissot on Friday marked exactly one year to the start of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 with the unveiling of a countdown clock in China's capital of Beijing.
The latest milestone on the Road to China 2019 was commemorated during a ceremony attended by high-ranking officials from FIBA, Tissot, the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Local Organizing Committee (LOC), together with China's Vice Minister of General Administration of Sports, Mr. Li Yingchuan, and Beijing's Vice Mayor, Mr. Zhang Jiandong. They were joined by representatives from the Beijing Sports Bureau and members of the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) Leadership which is responsible for the organization of the World Cup.
Patrick Baumann, FIBA Secretary General and International Olympic Committee (IOC) Member, said: "We're honored to be in Beijing to mark exactly one year to the start of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019. This milestone means there are only 365 days to go before we witness an historic FIBA Basketball World Cup - the first played in China, the first hosted by eight cities and the first to feature 32 teams. It's so close, we can almost touch it.
"The Road to China 2019 is gathering pace and, thanks to our longstanding partner Tissot, celebrations to mark this latest milestone will live up to expectations. The unveiling of countdown clocks in every host city will enable fans to know exactly how many days, hours, minutes and seconds are left before basketball's biggest competition takes centre stage around the world.
"We look forward to being back here in a year's time to see the best of men's world basketball and, of course, witness the Final right here in Beijing."
Mr. Li Yinchuan, China's Vice Minister of General Administration of Sports and Executive Chairman of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Local Organizing Committee (LOC), made a speech on behalf of the latter.
He said: "Today, at this historical moment, we gather together here to tip off the one-year countdown to the event and show the world our great enthusiasm and firm confidence in successfully preparing for the event."Preparing for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 is a major move in helping China become a sports loving nation even more engaged in international events. It is also an important platform to enhance and showcase the image of the host cities."
Tissot President François Thiébaud said: "We look forward to continue our longstanding relationship with FIBA and these upcoming events will reinforce our relations. Being associated with such an international sport as basketball underlines our dynamic nature and our values of precision and performance. Offering exclusive services to the World Cup and celebrating the key moments also give our customers an additional reason to be proud of their commitment to Tissot."
As well as the unveiling of the countdown clock, the ceremony saw Beijing being presented a FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 commemorative plaque, a gesture to show gratitude and appreciation for all of the hard work and efforts put forward by the city in doing its part to host basketball's biggest competition.
The ceremony was the first of eight taking place in the host cities of FIBA's flagship event to unveil countdown clocks, produced and operated by FIBA Partner Tissot.
Click here to find out the exact location of the Tissot countdown clocks in the eight FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 host cities.
Tissot has been a FIBA Partner and Official Timekeeper since 2008. In September 2017, the largest traditional Swiss watch brand based on volume and FIBA extended their partnership beyond the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019.