Still time to climb summit
UCI Track Cycling World Championships finish in Minsk. The event was the first in the new Olympic cycle, pitting the top 260 cyclists against one another at Minsk Arena and beginning the path of determining those worthy of attending the next Games
Commenting on the results of the successful tournament, the President of the International Cycling Union (ICU), Pat McQuaid, noted that Belarus had managed to organise the championship at the highest level. He believes that the installation of the new track and the hosting of such events should inspire the further development of cycling in Belarus. He noted, “Previously, Belarus lacked such a wonderful track yet managed great results at the most prestigious competitions. Now, the new generation of cyclists should become one of the best. Vasily Kiriyenko and Konstantin Sivtsov are perfect models for young Belarusian cyclists.”
Vasily Kiriyenko and Natalia Tsylinskaya, who both previously earned world-class gold medals, have handed the baton to Olga Panarina and Tatiana Sharakova, who have been performing brilliantly at world and European championships. Sadly, they were absent from Minsk Arena, as Ms. Panarina is undergoing treatment at the Neurosurgery Institute for a head injury received on the eve of the Olympiad in London. Meanwhile, Ms. Sharakova is being investigated by the ICU for a positive drug test at the 2012 European Championship in Lithuanian Panevėžys. There, she took gold in the omnium and bronze in the team pursuit, with Oksana Popko and Yelena Dylko.
Ms. Popko and Ms. Dylko took part in the team pursuit at Minsk Arena, cycling with young Olga Masyukovich, but failed to qualify for the final races. Most of the team are novices at such major events, but we hope to see their talent grow with experience and training.
Olympic champion Oleg Logvin notes that the results of the championship should be assessed on a global scale. “The fact of organising such a large international tournament is an achievement in itself. European and world competitions for junior and young athletes have been hosted by Belarus many times but this was our first World Championship event.”
The British confirmed their status as one of the top cycling states, despite having an almost new line-up and having the Germans and Australians as serious rivals. All emphasised their admiration for the organisation of the sporting contest.
Mexican Sofia Arreola Navarro set a wonderful record for her country, being only the second athlete in the history of Mexico to claim two cycling medals at the same tournament. “These are incredible feelings,” she smiled. “I worked hard and found the track very comfortable. I’ve entered a new level and will now try to enhance it at the next World Championship round.”
The current World Championship brings a host of rounds, which will culminate in Rio de Janeiro. Some leave the Belarusian capital joyful while others, like the hosts of the tournament, face months of analysis, to see how they can improve their performance. The senior coach of the national team of Belarus, Stanislav Soloviev, has high hopes for every member of the team. Olga Masyukovich, Roman Tishkov, Anna Gurik and Anton Muzychkin failed to claim victory on this occasion but, undoubtedly, their time will come. Vitally, they should never give up!