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

First competitions in Strbske Pleso

 STRBSKE PLESO - The first competition to be held on the site of Strbske Pleso took place this afternoon, 25 January, with the women’s and men’s sprint in cross country skiing.


The first Gold Medal in Strbske Pleso went to Anastassiya Slovona (KAZ)


For this very special competition and a little against nature regarding cross country skiing, a Kazakh athlete has emerged in the final. Over a distance of 1.4 km, Anastassiya Slovona, a 24 year-old student in sport and tourism at the University of Almaty, dominated all her opponents since qualifying for the final. She beat two also very good skiers who were contenders for the gold as well, i.e. Ewelina Marcisz, Poland (silver) and Svetlana Nikolaeva, Russia (bronze).

A very good result for the Kazakh athlete indeed, who directly attracted great interest of Kazakhstan's media. Kazakh media are very much present at this Universiade 2015, as Almaty will host the 28th Winter Universiade in 2017.

Great interest from the Kazakh Media as the city of Almaty will organise the next Winter Universiade in 2017

In the men's race run over 1.6km, the Russian team completely dominated the race putting three skiers on the podium! Andrey Larkov, a physical education student at the University of Kazan, beat his fellow teammates Anton Gafarov (silver) and Raul Shakirzianov (Bronze) in the golden race. It seems that the Russian team will once again be serious contenders for the men's events.


The fight for the first place in the men's sprint final


“The race conditions were excellent and we must salute the remarkable work done by the Slovak organisers”, Zofia Kielpinska, FISU Technical Delegate for cross country skiing confirmed. “The team set up by the Organising Committee is of a very good level and was able to cope with the different format problems related to the sprint. The sprint competition is very complicated to manage, the series quickly follow and we have to be very reactive to communicate the results in order to prepare the following series. The timing is very tight especially since the competition was broadcast live which adds a little extra stress. However, I am very satisfied with the running of the event. The sprint is a popular event, it has also been designed as such. Today there were a lot of spectators along the track. I hope that will continue tomorrow for the mixed team sprint competition, an event that was introduced for the first time at the Universiade in Erzurum, Turkey in 2011 and this to the delight of the participants and spectators.”


Follow the competition live on FISU.TV


Programme and results


Text and pictures

Yvan Dufour, FISU Chief Editor

First podium totally dedicated to Team Russia