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Opinions & Interviews

31 Oct 2017

Belarus pins its Olympic medal hopes on biathlon, aerials

Belarus pins its Olympic medal hopes on biathlon, aerials

MINSK, 31 October (BelTA) – The medal hopes of the Belarusian national team at the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang are, first of all, related to biathlon and aerials, Belarus’ Deputy Minister of Sports and Tourism, chief of the Belarusian mission to the 23rd Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang Alexander Baraulya told the media on 31 October, BelTA has learned.

Today’s meeting with journalists was dedicated to the Winter Games which will start in 100 days. According to Alexander Baraulya, three preparation stages have been completed, with the final one starting now. “The group of Olympic hopefuls has been already formed. Qualifying competitions will continue through mid January 2018. The international sport federations will publish the rankings on 22 January, and then we will know who will go to the Winter Olympics,” he said.

Journalists were interested in the medal prospects of Belarusian athletes. Alexander Baraulya said that it would be difficult to achieve the results achieved by Belarus at the Sochi Olympics four years ago, where the Belarusian athletes won five gold and one bronze medals. At the forthcoming Winter Games Belarus needs to consider from the potential of its athletes. “Each of the participants counts on the maximum result. Opponents will also come for medals, and in my opinion, the psychological readiness will be playing the leading role at the Olympics. The plans to prepare for Pyeongchang were developed four years ago. First of all, we pin our hopes on biathlon and aerials. We also see progress in speed skating,” the mission chief said. He noted that in Belarusian Olympic team includes 45 candidates in six sports: biathlon, aerials, speed skating, short track, cross country skiing and Alpine skiing.

“At present we can speak with confidence about ten licenses. Aerial freestylers plan to win seven Olympic berths throughout the 2017-2018 World Cup season, skaters – up to four berths, skiers – up to six,” Alexander Baraulya said.

Figure skaters have only theoretic chances of getting to Pyeongchang. The Belarusian national ice hockey team failed to qualify for the 2018 Olympics.

The Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea will take place on 9-25 February 2018 and will feature 102 medals events in 15 sports. At the 2014 Winter Olympics Belarus won five gold (three by Darya Domracheva, and two by Anton Kushnir and Alla Tsuper) and one bronze medal by Nadezhda Skardino.

 

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