Posted: 21.02.2024 15:42:40

Mind-blowing weekend

Belarusian athletes made a lot of noise last weekend

Just awesome! There is no other way to describe the performance of our athletes at the largest international competitions. Belarusians are gradually allowed to participate in top tournaments, 
although still in a neutral status, and our guys are taking full advantage of their chance. The athletes
of the Belarusian national team decided not to squeeze modestly through a slightly opened narrow
crack due to political sanctions, but kicked the door wide open.

In the fight — Iryna Kurachkina (left)         Kostadin Andonov     

The 2024 European Wrestling Championships that just finished in Bucharest became one of the most successful tournaments for our team — two gold, one silver and four bronze medals! The top athletes of the women’s national team, the winners of the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Vanesa Kaladzinskaya and Iryna Kurachkina demonstrated
the best and the most scintillating performances. We can confidently say that both of them had no equals among the best representatives of European wrestling and were hands-down winners. In case you do not believe the words, check out the numbers: 32:3 and 37:6 — it was with these total scores that the Belarusian beauties defeated all their rivals. Remarkably enough, both Vanesa and Iryna made a hat-trick that was pleasant in all respects — from now on, they
are three-time champions of the continent! Another prize-winner of the 2020 Olympics, Magomedkhabib Kadimagomedov, stopped a step away from the gold medal. In the final, he fought with another neutral athlete, the current world champion from Russia, Akhmed Usmanov, but alas, he lost in an exciting and very spectacular battle with the 6:9 score. Alesia Hetmanava and Veranika Ivanova returned home with bronze medals, as well as two representatives of Greco–Roman wrestling Kiryl Maskevich and Abubakar Khaslakhanau. Bravo!
The 2024 European Weightlifting Championships has come to an end in Sofia. Our weightlifters reached the finish line with a solid catch — in the double event, Evgeny Tikhontsov won the gold medal, Suzanna Volodko claimed a silver 
medal, and Pavel Khodasevich won bronze. Petr Asayonak and Yulian Kurlovich clinched small bronze medals in the clean and jerk, and Yuliya Gulina secured a small silver medal in the snatch.

Anastasiya Shkurdai             REUTERS

Let us move from the European–scale events to the global ones. The World Aquatics Championships held in Doha is over. Our athletes are not coming back empty-handed, either. Moreover, they have delighted us with historical achievements. The representatives of Belarus had never won medals in synchronised swimming before. Now, this page has been turned over as remarkable Vasilina Khandoshka won bronze in the solo programme. Belarusian swimmers also gave us joy a few times — the last one was quite a long time ago, though — with their awards from the 
international swimming pool of the world forum. Up until Saturday, no one managed to swim up to the podium in Doha despite being rather close. Ilya Shymanovich took 6th place in the 100 metre breaststroke and 10th in the 50 metre breaststroke; Alina Zmushka became 4th in the 200 metre breaststroke and 6th in the distance twice as short — both of them received an Olympic licence. It is Anastasiya Shkurdai who managed to hit the jackpot in her last distance at the championship. She swam 200 metres on her back like a rocket and was the third to touch the pool side. Right there, however, she had to face shameful discrimination — the Belarusian was invited neither to the podium of honour after the finish line, nor to the flash zone interview — neutral athletes do not have this right. Yet, no one can take away the legitimately earned medal from the Belarusian. Well done!

Goalkeeper Mikhail Avgustov and the rest of the Belarusian team dealt a defeat to the silver medalists          Aitor Alcalde
of last year’s championship, the Japanese

The FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup 2024 in Dubai, where the Belarusian national team performs under its own flag and without any discrimination, looks like a ray of light in the dark political realm that has absorbed sports. And you should have seen their performance! The charges of Nicolas Alvarado started the group tournament with two brilliant victories, one by one breaking the resistance of the Senegal team that took fourth place at the last World Cup — 6:4, and Japan, a silver medalist of the last championship — 3:1. Thus, not only did our guys secure a place in the playoffs ahead of schedule, but they will also enter the quarterfinals from the first place in the group! This is the third consecutive 
participation in the final round of the world championship for the Belarusian national team, and it is for the first time that it has managed to overcome the barrier of the preliminary stage. The Tuesday’s match against the Colombian team had the status of a training match for the Belarusians, with the main thoughts focused on the upcoming quarterfinal match. Indeed, can anything stop the highly-skilled masters who are on the roll and believe in themselves?

By Sergey Kanashits