GOMEL, 15 October (BelTA) – Twelve athletes from Gomel Oblast have already qualified for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. This information was announced during the celebration of local athletes who clinched medals at the 2nd European Games and their coaches on 15 October, BelTA has learned.
Taking part in the ceremony was Gomel Oblast Governor Gennady Solovei. He expressed confidence that the key to success lies with good sports infrastructure and facilities coupled with athletes' talent and determination, as well as wisdom and patience of coaches. “The team of Gomel Oblast performed well at the 2nd European Games and we hope that you will be a success at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo,” the governor said addressing the athletes. As it was said, twelve athletes from Gomel Oblast have already passed qualification for Tokyo 2020.
Taking part in the 2nd European Games 2019 were 31 athletes from Gomel Oblast. They won 20 medals: 8 gold medals, 6 silver and 6 bronze medals.
Alena Nazdrova who won the Women's C1 200m event at the 2nd European Games told reporters that the competition at the games was really tough. “The race took place amidst adverse weather conditions. Therefore, our determination in addition to good physique was an important contributor to the victory,” she said.
Another outstanding athlete, Volha Khudzenka, clinched two gold medals, one silver and one bronze at kayaking events of the 2nd European Games. She praised excellent conduct of the competitions. “Everything was up to par. All athletes' wishes were taken care of, at least at our base. Now athletes are recovering. “We are getting back to the training process. We are based in Gomel. We have amazing facilities here. We can train in the swimming pool, on simulators and in gyms,” the athlete noted.
Gennady Solovei added that all in all, in 2018 and in January-September 2019, local athletes won 250 medals at official international sports events. In his words, the region is proud of its athletes and is working hard to promote amateur and professional sports. For example, in order to support fledgling athletes, first of all, from the countryside, the Gomel Oblast Executive Committee has been awarding monthly scholarships since 2016. This year such scholarships are granted to 115 people. “Having such support and encouraged by such a level of trust, young and promising athletes seek to perform to the limit of their ability at official international events. According to statistics, 80% of the scholarship holders were up to expectations last year,” the governor informed.
In addition to that, the number of sports classes rose by more than a third over the past three years. This year over 2,300 children are enrolled at 109 sports classes, Gennady Solovei noted.
The network of sports facilities in the region is getting bigger and their physical infrastructure is being improved. In fact, a modern swimming pool was built in Vetka, a sports complex was inaugurated in Bragin, a mini-football ground was arranged in the agro-town of Michurinskaya in Gomel District, a roller skiing track was opened in Gomel, a stadium was renovated in Petrikov, and a swimming pool underwent a major overhaul in Mozyr.
During the ceremony, 1960 Olympics champion Leonid Geishtor received happy birthday wishes. He turned 83 years on 15 October.