Posted: 30.04.2024 12:22:00

Cross country running

Nina Savina and Sergei Platonov have become the winners of the Belarusian Cross Country Cup and helped the Mogilev Region team to return the championship cup awarded by the Belarus Segodnya Publishing House to the victor of the tournament

Andrei Sazonov

A large-scale cross country forum held at the weekend in Mogilev brought together nearly 700 participants. The event combined several tournaments at once — Belarus Open Cup, the republican track and field cross country competitions, the relay race in memory of honoured coach Aleksandr Kitsenko, as well as the Republican Universiade. Cross country races that traditionally kick off the summer athletics season have been held for many years with the support and for the prizes of the Belarus Segodnya Publishing House. This year was no exception. Eleven races on the Dubrovenka embankment turned out to be full of struggle and emotions, and the names of the winners are already known. 
Cross country running became a real challenge for both experienced athletes and juniors. The track at Dubrovenka is not easy per se — its terrain will make anyone sweat. As if that were not enough, the celestial chancellery complicated the task for runners this year. The day before the start, it rained in Mogilev, and the track was covered with patches of mud. In addition, the organisers added challenges to the athletes by placing bales of hay along the distance that the runners had to jump over.
A rich competitive programme was opened by students. Polina Kibireva, a representative of the Belarusian National Technical University, celebrated the victory at the one-kilometre cross country race among girls. Dmitry Savin, a student of Mogilev State University named after A. A. Kuleshov, had no equal among boys. “There were a lot of surprises on the track, with plenty of mud patches. But we have coped with everything!” Polina summed up the results of the race. “I have the most positive impressions. When else would you run in such conditions?”
Indeed, this year’s cross country race will surely be remembered by the participants for a long time. The track held a lot of unexpected moments — athletes were slipping and sliding in the mud, falling and some of them even lost their spikes! However, all this makes the victory even more valuable and satisfying. Vladislava Tretyakova and Vladislav Kovalyuk clinched the victory among girls and boys born in 2009-2010, and Nadezhda Stepanushko and Yevgeny Kazakov became the best among the guys born in 2007-2008. Kristina Gorbulina and Maksim Novikov finished first in the junior races.
Perpetual Cup awarded by the Belarus Segodnya Publishing House to the winner

The names of the winners of the main starts — the three-kilometre women’s and five-kilometre men’s races which determined the winners of the Belarusian Cross Country Cup — are also well known to running enthusiasts. Nina Savina, the winner of the European 10,000m Cup and the European Marathon Cup in the team competition, participant of the Olympic Games, marked her return to the sport at the 3km distance. After a two-year break, during which Nina became a mother, the renowned athlete did not leave any chance to her rivals, having left everyone behind. The men’s fight at the 5km distance was much more intriguing. Sergei Platonov and Vyacheslav Skudny immediately indicated their intention to fight for victory and ran shoulder to shoulder for a long time. However, in the second half of the race Platonov broke away from the competitor, leaving him with a silver medal. 
Nina Savina and Sergei Platonov helped the Mogilev Region team regain the main trophy of the tournament — the perpetual cup established by the Belarus Segodnya Publishing House and bestowed on the winner of the team competition. Last year, the cross country race was held in Minsk and athletes from the capital became the leaders in the final table. Mogilev residents had set themselves up for revenge and even somewhat exceeded the task having become winners even in the standings of regions and cities. 
The summer season is announced open. It is going to be long and eventful. Ahead of the athletes are the BRICS Games, republican competitions, which include Belarus Cup and Championship, the World Friendship Games, and more. According to Andrei Gordeev, the senior coach of the national endurance athletics team, the competitions held in Mogilev became a good stage in preparing for the competitive season, and the high-level performance of the athletes on a difficult track has confirmed that the team is already in a combat-ready state. The best is yet to come!

By Tatiana Pastushenko