Favourites win sprint – drama in front of spectators

Posted on | January 31, 2011 | Category: News

Photo: Asian Winter Games OC

The VII Asian Winter Games were opened with the Ski Orienteering Sprint events at the Sodatskoye Uschcelje Ski Stadium in Almaty, Kazakhstan. The conditions were perfect: sunshine, few degrees minus, white snow, and the impressing Talgar mountains with 4000 meters high peaks in the background.

The first Gold medals in the Games went to the favourites, Olga Novikova and Mikhail Sorokin, from the host country Kazakhstan. Both winners were leading the race from the first control to the finish and did not make any mistakes in their races.

Drama right in front of the spectators

In the women’s race, the drama of ski orienteering was apparent when Jevgeniya Kuzmina made a fatal mistake in front of TV and spectators on one the last controls and this allowed China’s Liu Xiao Ting to pinch silver, leaving Kuzmina to the bronze.In men’s race, Alexandr Babenko took the silver and Mongolia’s Gerelt-Od Bayaraa the bronze.

Proud winner

“This is a very important victory. Asian Winter Games is the second most important winter sports event in Asia. It is second only to the Olympic Winter Games. It is great that we can show our sport here”, said Olga Novikova at the finish. “My country and federation expected me to win. I am proud of doing a good race and not letting their expectations down”.

Novikova won last year the Sprint World Cup and is expected to fight for gold medals also the World Championships in Sweden later this season.

Asian Winter Games is a major sports event in Asia, organised every four year by the Olympic Council of Asia under the patronage of the International Olympic Committee. Ski Orienteering is present for the first time and has attracted athletes from six Asian countries: China, Iran, Korea, Kyrgyzstan, and Mongolia are present in addition to the host country, Kazakhstan. Ski Orienteering in Asian Winter Games continues on Wednesday with the middle distance events.


Sprint – Women:

1) Olga Novikova, Kazakhstan
2) Liu Xiao Ting, China
3) Yevgeniya Kuzmina, Kazakhstan
4) Kim Ja-Youn, Korea
5) Altantsetseg Narantsetseg, Mongolia
6) Lee Ha-Na, Korea
7) Chinbat Otgontsetseg, Mongolia
8) Olga Gorozhanina, Kyrgyzstan
9) Elena Rybalova, Kyrgyzstan

Sprint – Men:
1) Mikhail Sorokin, Kazakhstan
2) Alexandr Babenko, Kazakhstan
3) Gerelt-Od Bayaraa, Mongolia
4) Barkhuu Erdenchimeg, Mongolia
5) Dong Wen Qiang, China
6) Koang Min Jang, Korea
7) Seyed Mostafa Mirhashemi, Iran
8) Byung Sik Hong, Korea
9) Andrei Savinykh, Kyrgyzstan

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