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Opinions & Interviews

23 Apr 2019

Belarusian weightlifters hope to get more Tokyo Olympic quotas

Belarusian weightlifters hope to get more Tokyo Olympic quotas
Viktor Shershukov (center)

MINSK, 23 April (BelTA) – Belarus hopes to get more Tokyo Olympic quotas for its weightlifters, head coach of the Belarusian national weightlifting team Viktor Shershukov told the media on 23 April, BelTA has learned.

Future competitions were discussed at the meeting of the head of state with Belarusian weightlifters on 23 April. It was noted that the Belarusian national team has two quotas for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. The president set forth a task to do the best to increase their number.

Viktor Shershukov said that the matter can bee addressed with the help of the appropriate international organizations. “We are working hard and are ready to work even harder. Belarus is in good standing right now,” he stressed. The head coach added that other states are also trying to get more quotas, including through the court. Perhaps, the Belarusian athletes will be able to get two more quotas.
At the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, the Belarusian weightlifting team will be presented in full. “We will have a full set of licenses and are able to win three or four medals. We have currently eight athletes capable of competing for Olympic medals,” Viktor Shershukov said.

In his words, the team could have won more medals at the recent European Weightlifting Championships in Batumi. However, the country was deprived of this opportunity due to unbalanced judging. During the meeting with the weightlifters the president stressed that it is important to defend one’s position and results. Perhaps, the team will not get a medal, but will be respected for its adherence to principles.

Viktor Shershukov hailed the head of state’s attention to weightlifting. Even when the athletes missed out on the whole season due to disqualification, the country’s authorities supported the sport in full. In other countries (for instance, Ukraine, Armenia, Moldova) financial support has been considerably reduced.

“We worked hard for the whole year and here is the result which will continue progressing for several years ahead,” the head coach stressed. National tournaments make a special contribution to the development of weightlifting in Belarus. Among them are the international Alexander Kurlovich Memorial competitions Alexander Cup. In November the tournament will take place in Grodno and welcome many outstanding athletes. “This tournament has a very high status,” Viktor Shershukov said.

The head coach added that the Belarusian weightlifters are ready to show their best and, if the team is stripped off berths in Tokyo, they are not going to represent other countries.

Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko presented state awards to Belarusian weightlifters and their coaches on 23 April. The Medal for Labor Merits was conferred on chief weightlifting coach of the national Olympic training center Staiki Valery Sizenok in recognition of his professionalism, a big personal contribution to the training of elite athletes, significant sports achievements. Weightlifter Darya Naumova received the Honored Master of Sport of Belarus title. Official letters of commendation from the Belarusian president were awarded to chief coaches Valentin Korotkin and Viktor Shershukov, athletes Gennady Laptev and Yevgeny Tikhontsov for the successful performance at the European Weightlifting Championships.

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