One year’s distance
Which sportive events await us in this season?
Sleepy January, opening its jolly eyes, young and squab, is usually not very rich with sportive events. A year makes its first steps and prepares to define the best after those traditional 12 miles of a difficult way. It seems that this constant circle will never end. Looking back at the most interesting moments of the last year, we are getting ready to a new marathon. The weak have nothing to do here. Each who wants to win, shall undergo through an exhaustible finish spurt, where one have to run if the forces are spent. This is why we love sport, because everything is like in life here: chasing with time trying to outstrip ourselves.
This year promises to become rich in sportive events of different kind. However, it will be quiet formally as well as any season with a marking “pre-Olympic.” Nevertheless, we offer you a calendar of the most important sportive events, in which Belarusian sportsmen are to take part.
In JANUARY we shouldn’t wait for great sportive achievements of Belarusians. On the tennis championship Australia Open we have a “diamond interest” — Vika Azarenko. This girl in the last season made a rapid ascent up the rating ladder and came into a new season being the 15th among the strongest. According to the specialists, this is not the limit and this year will bring Azarenko minimum a place in Top-ten. So, we are waiting for surprises from Victoria in Australia.
FEBRUARY looms in front of Belarusian sport amateurs by the Biathlon World Championship. Recently Belarusian biathletes have fallen by the wayside. They rarely won prizes of the stages of the World Cup. However, traditions are stubborn, and this year brings noticeable progress in the performance of Belarusian shooting skiers, connected with the fact that a famous German specialist Claus Siebert trains the shooting with them. He has been working with the teams of Germany and China for a long time. Belarusians are especially interested in Darja Domracheva, who is going to win.
A hope of MARCH is freestylers. Hardly anywhere freestyle is so popular as in Belarus. Dmitry Daschinsky and Alexey Grishin are one of the most famous sportsmen in the world and they are still in the ranks. Moreover, on the Olympiad-2010 in Vancouver they will be among the main pretenders for victory for the third Games in succession. On the present March World Championship they are to trial a new difficult program. Of course, they count on golden medals of the world forum.
APRIL is a month of parting with a winter sportive festival. Sunrays awake heat-loving kinds of sport. Hockey World Championship, which is to be held in Switzerland in 2009, will become a frosty accord of parting with the season. Belarusian hockey team is strong more than ever. Minsk “Dinamo” plays in the second strong league of the world, the Continental Hockey League. Though it can’t win special prizes there, the hockey-players obtained colossal performance experience on a high level, which is going to influence the game. Besides, representation of Belarusian hockey-players in American leagues of different level is very strong today, including the National Hockey League, where the leading roles in their clubs play Andrey and Sergey Kostitsyns (“Montreal Canadians”), Mikhail Grabovsky (“Toronto Maple Leaves”), Ruslan Salei (“Colorado Avalanche”)… The task of the team will be to get into the Top-six. And it seems able to do this. Moreover, taking into account the fact that Glen Hanlon will again take place on a coach’s bridge of the team. He is an American specialist and Belarusians achieved the highest result in their history, the 6th place, under his guidance.
In MAY we make several notes in the calendar. The first one is the final of the youth football championship of Europe. For the second time in history the team of Belarus will take part in it. Europe looks down upon it underestimating its abilities and forgetting about the fact that in play-off matches Belarusians won a traditionally powerful team in this age category, the team of Turkey, which has always been the favorite. Besides, recollecting 2004, when the team of Belarus won the Championship of Europe and outgamed the team of Italy. That team presented Alexander Gleb to the world.
Gleb is the second note in the calendar. The final match of the Championship League will take place in May. The Spanish “Barcelona” with a Belarusian legionary has all the chances to win the trophy. It once played in the final match with “Arsenal,” but yielded at that time. We hope that the second attempt will be more successful.
We also remember about the Open Championship of France and wait victory from Vika Azarenko.
JUNE is the Wimbledon Tournament and the Basketball Championship of Europe among women. Belarusian women will take part in it as bronze winners of the last championship. They hit the front page of that championship. This time Belarusian team decided not to be limited with “bronze.” Over the last two years the team matured, and its leaders Anastasia Veremeenko and Elena Levchenko gained their skills and approached the level of the best players of Europe.
In JULY “BATE” from Borisov will start its way to the next group stage of the Championship League. This team made the whole Europe speak about it last autumn. The club with the budget of 2 million Euros from a modest Borisov managed to win the points from “Yuventus” and “Zenith,” where one player costs more than a Belarusian team. Demonstrating a harmonious and collective game, “BATE” amazed European fans, and its 31-years’ old coach Victor Goncharenko became the youngest in the history of tournaments of the Championship League. Borisov citizens don’t want to stop at the achieved. This is why they will probably play again in a way making the whole Europe surprised.
AUGUST will be traditionally rich in events. The World Athletics Championship will open this month. Belarus has always been one of the leading medal countries there. Oksana Menkova, Andrey and Natalya Mikhnevichs, Nadezhda Ostapchuk, Andrey Kravchenko and others will claim for golden medals. Unfortunately, the world will hardly see the “White lightning” — the winner of the Olympiad in Athens Julia Nesterenko wants to become pregnant.
On Boxing World Championship we wait for a return match from Belarusian fighters. A losing game last year exploded the reputation of Belarusian boxing and the fighters want to take revenge. This is especially the case of Viktor Zuev, who had an unsuccessful last year.
The third point will be tennis — the USA Open.
Calendar autumn will come in SEPTEMBER. World Rhythmic Championship will come along. On this festival of charm Russian primes Sesina, Kapranova and Kanaeva will probably be the greatest. We can only envy their grace and skills. A Belarusian Inna Zhukova, a silver winner of the Games in Peking, could have competed with them. However, she finished her carrier after the Olympiad and Belarusian fans look at her shift, a young Liubov Cherkashina.
OCTOBER will become an “X” hour for football-players — a selective tour of the World Championship 2010 will be finished. The last matches will be played in the groups, setting the record straight. In the beginning of the selective cycle Belarusians wanted to force their way to lucky finalists, but the start of the team of a German specialist Bernd Schtange was unsuccessful — the first three matches brought only one victory over Andorra. The other two battles brought a shameful defeat from the Ukrainian team — 1:0 (the only ball was missed on the 95th minute with penalty) and a home defeat to the English team — 1:3. However, a key player of the Belarusian team Alexander Gleb didn’t take part in that match. He healed a trauma.
NOVEMBER will become a new trial for Belarusian athletes Andrey Ariamnov and Andrey Rybakov. To be exact, for their rivals. World weightlifting champions will claim for new records on the world championship. Weightlifting in Belarus is on the ascent and we can win several golden medals on the world championship.
DECEMBER will traditionally become the summarizing month and a starting point for the view to the future, to the Canadian Vancouver, where in 2010 the Olympic Games will be held. However, we will speak about them later. Let’s enjoy the year of 2009, which is to bring us new records, openings and pleasure of sportive victories.