Summer Olympic Games’ hopes

500 days before the 2012 Olympics, Belarusian athletes boast two tickets to London

By Yuri Kovalev

Based on the results of 2010, marksman Sergey Martynov, a world champion, and world championship bronze medallist Victoria Chaika have places at the 2012 Olympics.

As pointed out by the First Vice-President of the National Olympic Committee, Igor Zaichkov, at a press conference held in Minsk, the system of qualification for the Olympics is complicated. It has several stages, with terms, conditions and quotas. The main ‘selection’ lies ahead, with Belarus competing this year to send athletes in marksmanship, weightlifting, freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling, calisthenics, rowing, canoeing and kayaking, and boxing. In some events, depending on their place at the World Championship, athletes may qualify directly for the Olympics. In others, additional tournaments will be held. Our Olympic team line-up will be finalised by July 2012.

According to the Sports and Tourism Minister, Oleg Kachan, 275 Belarusian athletes across 31 sports (at least 115 out of 302 disciplines) are training for the 30th Olympics, to be held from July 27th to August 12th in London. To compare, in 2008, the Beijing Games saw Belarusian athletes participating in 112 disciplines across 26 sports (37 percent of the Olympic programme). Belarusian taekwondo and football players plan to reach the 2012 London Olympics — new events since the last Games. Our regular national rowing slalom team and beach volleyball squad are also preparing for qualification.
Our Belarusian athletes’ target is 25 medals.

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