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26 January 2015 | in Universiade 2015, Winter Universiade, Cross Country Skiing

Double Victory for Russia in the mixed sprint event


STRBSKE PLESO – Today, 26 January, the second day two of competitions took place in Strbske Pleso with the sprint for mixed teams. For this second sprint competition, the Russian team marked another double victory. Indeed, Anton Gafarov, a student at the Ural Institute of Law and Commerce and Svetlana Nikolaeva, student in Physical Education at the University of Smolensk won gold ahead of another Russian couple composed of Raul Shakirzianov and Anna Povoliaeva. Finally, the Czech pair composed of Jan Srail and Karolina Grohova finished in third place in this breathless race.

The Joy of the Russian Team


According to Oleg Matytsin, President of RSSU, the national university sports federation of Russia, this victory is not a surprise. Since several years, the RSSU under the Ministry of Sports and in collaboration with the National Ski Federation organizes national championships that are qualifiers for the Universiade. Selected athletes at these championships then receive special preparation with the Universiade as main objective. It is very motivating for those athletes who also know very well that if they succeed they will compete in the team that participates in the World Cups or the next Olympic Games. This systematic work pays off today and we see that the Russian team present here in Slovakia is particularly strong.

Australia was part of this mixed sprint relay


As a reminder, the sprint team competition was introduced for the first time on an international level during the 2011 Winter Universiade in Erzurum, Turkey and in accordance with the International Ski Federation (FIS). This way, FISU offered more nations an opportunity to participate in a team event. Here we saw teams from Korea, Mongolia, Australia, China and the USA. Without this setup these nations could never compete as a national team. The returning of these nations as well as others to the WU is very positive. Again, FISU has played its pioneering role in the introduction of new events in its sports programme.


Yvan Dufour, FISU Editor-in-Chief

Pictures Roman Benicky & Yvan Dufour

The mixed sprint podium