Mosaic of records

10 major sporting events of 2005 for Belarus
Transfer of the year

The name of Alexander Gleb has been famous for ages. Trained at Minsk’s Dinamo football club, he left Belarus when he was a youth. The best Belarusian football player of recent years, he joined German Stuttgart junior team, where his ascension to fame began. By the age of 20 he became one of the German club leaders and drew attention of functionaries of the best European clubs. A dozen of teams were willing to see the Belarusian half-back in their ranks, but the fight for the talented football player was won by London-based Arsenal. Gleb’s transfer to Arsenal was close to being named the most outstanding transfer of the summer.

Return of the year

Yulia Nesterenko rocketed into the ranks of the best sportsmen of the present during the Olympics in Athens. With her sensational victory in the 100 meter race, she entered her name into the world sport history. However, later the White Lighting, as reporters promptly called her, experienced a recession: she kept away from the big sport due to an illness and many thought Nesterenko was good for nothing. Helsinki world championship witnessed the comeback. Yulia demonstrated a readiness outstanding for such a long intermission in competition practice and jumped back into the ranks of the world’s best runners.

Hercules of the year

The world has known the Belarusian heavy athletics school for a long time: many know Olympic champions Valeri Shariy, Alexander Taranenko, Alexander Kurlovich… The new generation of Belarusian athletes is joining the lead. During the world championship in Quatar Belarusian Andrei Rybakov, who entered the competition in under 85 kg category, set a new world record by lifting 185 kg.

Belief of the year

This year tennis player Victoria Azarenko won two tournaments of the Grand Helm series: Australia open championship and the USA open championship. So far, however, she excelled in the junior class. However, even now all experts unanimously predict that in a few years the Belarusian sportswoman will make a revolution in the adult tennis by replacing the leaders of today. Victoria has skills for that and unending diligence.

Yekaterina the first

Yekaterina Karsten always comes first. In 2005 the unbeatable Karsten or Yekaterina the Great as they call her, was in the class of her own one more time during the world rowing championship in Japan. This is the third champion title in the career of the invincible Belarusian.

Quartet of the year

Women relay race team consisting of Yelena Nevmerzhitskaya, Natalia Sologub, Oksana Dragun and Yulia Nesterenko made a sensation at the world track and field athletics championship by winning the bronze. It would be next to nothing to say that nobody expected that the Belarusians could run that fast. From now on Belarus is among the leaders of the world’s fastest teams.

Hope of the year

Last year Nadezhda Ostapchuk won everything there was to win. The Belarusian shot pusher was the best at the world and Europe championships, won some stages of the world cup. No well-known competitor was able to compete with the new star that rose in the world’s track and field athletics sky. Nadezhda Ostapchuk is the absolute champion and the largest hope of Belarus at the Olympics in Peking.

Hammerers of the year

During the world track and field athletics championship the most prominent competition was witnessed between two Belarusian hammer throwers — Ivan Tikhon and Vadim Devyatovski. A real show the two Belarusians staged by repeatedly excelling each other kept spectators and specialists tense till the end. As a result, the more experienced in hard competitions Tikhon turned out to be the best. Devyatovski came second. But their argument did not just end. The silver winner promised to gain revenge at the 2008 Olympics.

Defeat of the year

Belarusian fans still bleed with injuries of the Olympic hockey qualifications, which took place in Riga in February. The only ticket for the games in Torino, which combined teams from Latvia, Belarus, Poland, and Slovenia struggled for, went to the host team of the tournament. Everything was decided by the final match between Belarusians and Latvians, who had not lost a game before that. In the third period Belarus, which would be satisfied with a draw, was leading 4:2, but somehow failed to catch 3 goals within 4 minutes and lost. What a shock! The misfire dislodged Mikhail Zakharov from the post of the team’s chief coach.

Appointment of the year

After the defeat in Riga the steering-wheel of the Belarusian combined team went to a Canadian professional, coach of the NHL club Washington Capitals Glen Hanlon. And the Canadian turned out to be worthy of the trust. In no time he managed to unite the team, return the victory spirit and at the world championship in Vienna the Belarusians accomplished the task they faced — to enter the world’s top ten hockey teams — and demonstrated modern attacking hockey styles.

Sergey Kochkin
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