By Kirill Karin
Belarus’ Minister for Sports and Tourism, Oleg Kachan, noted the number of our athletes in training for the Games during the opening of the London-2012 Olympic Media Centre in Minsk. Training programmes are underway, with our national teams now gaining attestation. The first stage of Olympic training is over, to be followed by the second (winning places) and then participation in the Olympics itself.
All issues relating to the athletes’ motivation have been settled, with $150,000 being offered for a gold medal, $75,000 for silver and $50,000 for bronze. Training conditions for athletes are to be in keeping with their requirements. The Sports Minister pointed out that the Head of State (who is also President of the National Olympic Committee of Belarus) has tasked Belarus’ Olympic team with winning 25 medals at the London-2012 Games, five of them gold. Based on the results of the previous Olympics, Belarus should reach the top ten countries for medals: a worthy target.
National Olympic Committee Vice President Sergey Teterin notes that, since Belarus began to take part in the Games as an independent state, it has performed at five winter and four summer Olympics. So far, 79 Belarusian athletes have won 75 awards (11 gold, 24 silver and 40 bronze). He hopes that our athletes and their coaches will be giving interviews of their own at the London-2012 Olympic Media Centre in future.
Our Belarusian marksmen hope to gain five or six places at the 2012 Games, notes national team head coach Igor Basinsky. Two places are already secure, won at the 2010 World Championship in Munich by Sergey Martynov (four-time World Champion, 2010 World Cup holder, and 2000 Sydney and 2004 Athens Olympics bronze medallist) and Victoria Chaika (2006 and 2010 World Championships bronze medallist, 2009 European Champion and 2010 World Cup silver holder). The remaining places need to be secured during the qualification rounds for the Olympics. As yet, no other Belarusian athletes have guaranteed tickets for the 2012 Olympics.
The press secretary for the Belarusian National Olympic Committee, Piotr Ryabukhin, reports that such media centres are to open in every region of Belarus soon, at representative offices of the National Olympic Committee.