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Winter Olympics 2018: Who will represent Ukraine and what to expect from our athletes

Author : 112.ua

23:24, 8 February 2018
Winter Olympics 2018: Who will represent Ukraine and what to expect from our athletes

Author : 112.ua

Ukraine at 2018 Olympics - follow 112.international coverage of the first Winter Olympics ever held in South Korea's PyeongChang

23:24, 8 February 2018

Read original article at 112.ua

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In few days we’ll see the opening of the XXIII Winter Olympic Games in South Korean Pyeongchang. Athletes from different countries are coming to Olympic Village every day.

The entire Ukrainian team has already arrived at the competition. The day before, the women's biathlon team and the ski race team joined everyone in the Olympic Village after the final training camps from Kazakhstan. A day earlier the sledding team came, the men's biathlon team and a representative of freestyle (mogul) Tetiana Petrova.

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The Olympians from Italy, Australia, and Slovakia became neighbors of our team.

The mood of the Ukrainian athletes is good, each of them hopes to improve the previous results and is already eager to test the Olympic routes.

"After all, at the last training camp in Kazakhstan, which was located at an altitude of more than 1,500 meters and, incidentally, also at very low temperatures, we feel better here and we think that it will be easier to participate," said Valentyna Semerenko.

At the same time, the sledding athlete Anton Dukach, who takes part in the Olympics in Pyeongchang for the first time, admitted that he expects a very fast track. "We already had an opportunity to see the track with our own eyes. The ice is very cold, hard. If we usually have an ice temperature in the competition from -0.5 to -4 degrees, then here it reaches -14. We think that there will be two complex turns. The rest of the track is smooth, it is quite possible to cope with it," he said.

In total, 33 sportsmen will represent Ukraine at the Olympics in Pyeongchang. They will compete in 9 out of 15 sports: biathlon, figure skating, sledding, freestyle, cross country skiing, alpine skiing, snowboarding, skeleton and Nordic combined.

The Ministry of Youth and Sports has already announced: for each gold received in Pyeongchang, athletes will receive 125 thousand dollars each, for silver - 80 thousand dollars, for bronze - 55 thousand dollars.

So, who exactly will represent Ukraine at the Olympic Games in Pyeongchang and what should fans expect?

Biathlon

In fact, all our medal expectations for the current Olympics are connected with this kind of sport. The National Olympic Committee argues that Ukraine will be able to see all its biathletes in every race.

Let's note, at the Olympics there is a restriction according to which the maximum number of representatives from one country is limited to 4 biathletes. Accordingly, two women and one man will remain outside the application of Ukraine for each personal race. In total, there will be eight such personal races (sprint, pursuit, individual, mass start for men and women), as well as three relay races (two classic and one mixed).

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Ukraine has the greatest expectations on women's starts - especially an individual race and a relay race. It is the Ukrainian women's four that is the current Olympic champion, and this title will be defended in Pyeongchang.

The country will be presented with:

Yulia Jyma, 27 years old

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The Olympic champion in the relay race in Sochi, in the overall standings of the World Cup became the eighth and remained the leader of the Ukrainian team at the start of the current season.

Forecast: The athlete can win medals in each of the five disciplines of the biathlon program.

Olena Pidgrushna, 31 years old

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This athlete has a lot of victories (and at the Olympics, and at the World Cups, and European championships), but the past season passed for her unsuccessfully. To 2016/2017 start, the World Cup, she came in perfect shape and helped team to win silver.

Forecast: There is a possibility that the headquarters will give her place in the relay four.

Vita Semerenko, 32 years old

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In the previous several Olympics, the sportswoman won a set of awards. She is the most stable Olympic player in the history of Ukrainian winter sports. However, athlete was on treatment, and attempts to return in the last season were unsuccessful.

Forecast: Now Vita Semerenko is in perfect shape, there is no reason to worry that she will not join the relay four.

Valentyna Semerenko, 32 years old

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Since 2008, she has consistently demonstrated good results. However, in the season-2015/2016, she began to decline her achievements. Valentyna Semerenko wasn’t part of the relay team at last year's World Championships because she objectively lost to the junior female athletes.

Forecast: In the World Cup standings, Valentyna Semerenko is 14th, so next to her sister Vita and Yulia Jima, her condition may not bother the coaching staff.

Anastasia Merkushyna, 23 years old

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The youngest female athlete in the women's biathlon team of Ukraine. The last few years she showed progress, so coaches gave her place in the relay team.

Forecast: At this World Cup, she scored 46 points more than Pidgrushna, and, for purely sporting indicators, deserves a place in the the relay quartet more.

Irina Varvynets, 25 years old

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At last year's World Cup, this athlete successfully joined the relay team and helped it to win silver. However, the start of the season-2017/2018 was for Varvynets inexpressive because of health.

Forecast: The place for Varvynets should be reserved, at least among the participants of the individual race.

Serhiy Semenov, 29 years old

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The biggest victory of the athlete - is gold medal at the European Championships in 2013. The last years he was awarded with bronze medals at the World Championships.

Forecast: In the current season, Semenov's chances for the championship are minor due to the injury of the periosteum, which he received last year, but there is a hope for entry into the top 10.

Artem Pryma, 30 years old

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During eight years of performances at the World Cup stages, he was able to enter the top ten in personal races only twice: in pursuit in the USA in 2016 and in a sprint in Pyeongchang in 2017. It was the ninth and tenth places respectively.

Forecast: At the current Olympics, an athlete is expected to do something similar.

Dmytro Pidruchny, 26 years old

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A fairly young biathlete, in this inter-Olympic cycle became the leader of the men's team. Last year he performed several good races in sprint and pursuit in the World Cup.

At the start of the current season, during the stage in Sweden, Ostersund he was able to compete for a place in the top three winners.

Forecast: The fifth place in the pursuit at the January stage in Oberhof (Germany) and the beautiful last round during the sprint at the European Championships give at least hope for a repeat of the results.

Volodymyr Semakov, 32 years old

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The highest achievement of Semakov was silver in the relay races of the European Championship-2010. The athlete also does not show anything special under the Ukrainian flag.

Forecast: The chances of improving past performance are negligible.

Artem Tishchenko, 24 years old

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In 2015, the athlete was named the best newcomer of the year by the International Biathlon Union. He showed himself well in relay races.

Forecast: He is expected to keep previous results.

Freestyle

Freestyle at the Olympics will be presented by five disciplines; Ukrainians will perform in two of them - acrobatics and mogul. The NOC hopes that Ukrainian athletes in this category have chances to get a medal.

The country will be presented with:

Olexander Abramenko, 29 years old

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At the previous Olympics he got the sixth place. He was the winner and took 2nd and 3rd places (2014-2015) at the World Cup of last years, but missed the whole last season due to knee surgery.

Forecast: He is considered the main medal hope in acrobatics.

Olga Polyuk, 30 years old

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At the two previous Olympics, this athlete did not show anything special: the 20th place in Vancouver and the 15th in Sochi.

In the current standings of the World Cup, she takes 19th place, and secured the Olympic license according to the results of the previous, slightly more successful season (15th position).

Forecast: It is expected that the previous results will be preserved, but it is possible that athlete can surprise us and enter the top 10.

Tetiana Petrova, 24 years old

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The athlete will become the first Ukrainian woman during the years of independence, who will participate at the start of the Olympic Games in mogul. Before that, at the Winter Olympics in freestyle, Ukraine was represented only in ski acrobatics. The last time a representative of Ukraine in mogul had a license in 1994 (Lillehammer).

Forecast: Last year Petrova performed at the World Universiad in Kazakhstan and entered the top five, it is considered promising thing.

Ski race

The best times of Ukrainian skiers, as it seems, are far behind. Only four Ukrainians qualified in Pyeongchang - the least number since 1994, when Irina Taranenko-Terelya left for the Games in Lillehammer-1994. Accordingly, for the second time in history Ukraine will not be represented in the women's relay race, and in individual races, Ukrainians can compete only for places in the top 50.

The country will be presented with:

Tetiana Antypenko, 36 years old

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Participant of three Winter Olympic Games (2006, 2010, 2014). Silver medalist of the Winter Universiade (2009). Her highest achievement in personal disciplines was the 21st place in the race for 30 kilometers in Vancouver. On competition of 2013 on the same distance the sportswoman was the 13th. Actually, it was the peak of her career. At last year's World Championships, she was 36th in the skiathlon (7.5 km in classical and free styles).

Forecast: Experts refrain from assessing her chances are the Games, but are waiting for a decent presentation from one of the most experienced skiers.

Olexiy Krasovsky, 23 years old

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A young athlete has been performing at a serious international level since 2013. Then he competed in the junior world championship, and the following year he went to the Olympics in Sochi. There, in a free style sprint, Krasovsky took 81st place with a result of 4: 35.08 minutes. In the inter-Olympic cycle he performed at two world championships, where his highest achievement was the 49th place in the race-pursuit of 30 km.

Forecast: Experts refrain from assessing his chances at the Games.

Andriy Orlyk, 19 years old

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In 2015, the athlete became the new star of the Youth Olympic Festival in Liechtenstein, where he took the fourth and sixth places. After that, the coaches began to actively involve him in performances for the adult team.

On mundiale 2015, he performed at two sprint distances and in the relay race, and last year in Lahti tried himself on a 15-kilometer distance.

Forecast: So far, Orlyk has occupied places outside the first fifty, but at the Olympics in Pyeongchang he is expected to break through.

Maryna Antsibor, 30 years old

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The most successful for the athlete are now considered sprint racing and distance of classic style, although in previous Olympics, she was, above all, considered a relay player.

Antsibor had no outstanding achievements in personal disciplines in her career.

Forecast: There are no special hopes of our team in this athlete.

Skiing

In Pyeongchang athletes will compete for 11 awards in skiing - 10 personal (5 men and women) and another in the mixed relay. Ukraine has never been strong in mountain skiing, so has only two licenses – this is the expected result.

The country will be presented with:

Ivan Kovbasnyuk, 24 years old

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The current Olympics will be the first in his career, although he often traveled to international competitions. Kovbasnyuk's profile is high-speed disciplines.

Forecast: Experts refrain from assessing his chances at the Games, it will be a success if he gets into the top 30.

Olha Knysh, 22 years old

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The athlete performed at two previous world championships. In 2015, in Beaver Creek, neither in the slalom, nor in the giant slalom she could not finish, but last year in St. Moritz in the giant slalom qualified at 49th place.

Forecast: We expect improvement of her results shown earlier.

Nordic Combined

Ski biathlon is a sport in which athletes first jump from a springboard, according to the results of jumps, a backlog is formed for ski races (each losing jump meter is four seconds behind the start), and then 10 kilometers run.

The license for Ukraine was won by Viktor Pasechnik, for whom Pyeongchang will be the second Olympics in his career.

Victor Pasechnyk, 25 years old

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The athlete made his debut at the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi (2014). In the jumps from the springboard he showed the 27th result, in the ski race - the 42nd. As a result, he remained at 42nd position.

In the inter-Olympic cycle, Pasechnik performed at two world championships, and his results there are almost identical: 40th in Falun, 2015 and 39th in Lahti-2017.

Prediction: There are no special hopes for this athlete.

Sledding sport

Ukraine has never been in the lead of sledding sport, because here the physical form of the athlete is not so important as the material and technical base and the opportunity to train. So, four years ago our country also, as now, had six Olympic licenses, but then Ukrainians steadily finished among the worst. Even in the relay, they still took the penultimate line. If there is no sensation, unfortunately, it is most likely that Ukrainians will show similar results even now.

The country will be represented by:

Olexander Obolonchik, 26 years old / Roman Zakharkiv, 27 years old

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At the Sochi Olympics, the duo finished 17th. Similar positions Olexander and Roman had at the world championships in the inter-Olympic period. The 16th position at last year's mundiale in the Austria is the highest achievement in the career of athletes.

Forecast: There are no special hopes for a duet.

Olena Stetskiv, 23 years old

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The athlete as a member of the national team of Ukraine performed well in the European Championships and IX World Cup (26-28 January 2018, Sigulda, Latvia), where she took the 7th place in team competitions, finished 16th in the European Championship and was the 8th in the team competitions of the World Cup stage.

Forecast: Experts refrain from assessing her chances in the Games, but consider the athlete promising.

Anton Dukach, 22 years old

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Olympics in Pyeongchang for the athlete will be the first in his career. Before that, he showed himself well in junior competitions: in 2012 he was fourth at the Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck (Austria), in 2015 he became a bronze medalist at the Junior World Cup in Wittenberg (Germany), and next year in the same city won the Summer Cup of the International Sledding Federation.

Forecast: Dukach is predicted to hit the top twenty, he sees himself in the top 10.

Olena Shkhumova, 24 years old

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The sportswoman represented Ukraine four years ago at the Sochi Olympics. There she took the 31st position. Experts predicted her further achievements, but due to the lack of material and technical base, Shkhumova did not have the opportunity to constantly go to the top-level competitions.

Last year, she took the 22nd place in the world championship in her career.

Forecast: Experts refrain from assessing her chances at the Games.

Andriy Mandziy, 29 years old

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Four years ago, the athlete made his debut at the Sochi Olympics. There, his achievement was 31st place. Since then, his results are fairly stable: the 28th in 2015, the 27th in 2016, the 30th in 2017.

Forecast: He is expected to hit the top 30.

Snowboarding

Snowboarding at the Olympics is represented by four disciplines, and Ukrainian athletes managed to win only one license - in a parallel giant slam, in which it is necessary to fight not only with time, but also with an opponent.

The principle is this: first qualification takes place, according to which the top 16 get into the 1/8 finals. Next, a grid is formed, rivals are divided into pairs, and the competition continues.

The country will be represented by:

Annamari Dancha, 27 years old

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The athlete was very surprised when, at the age of 19, she got into the 16th best at the debut Olympic Games in Vancouver.

After that she won the silver of the World Universiade twice. However, later she married and gave birth to a daughter, so she returned to the sport only last winter.

Forecast: Experts refrain from assessing her chances at the Games, but do not rule out that she can surprise us.

Skeleton

Skeleton is a high-speed descent along the icy track on a special sledge without steering. For Ukraine, this is a relatively new sport, so the very fact of obtaining a qualification is an achievement.

The country will be represented by:

Vladyslav Heraskevych, 19 years old

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This athlete is the first in the history of independent Ukraine, who received an Olympic license in the skeleton.

Prior to that, he showed himself well at the junior world championships - he was among the top ten. Last year he became the 24th on the debut of his career at world championship in Kenigsee (Germany).

Forecast: Experts consider his results promising in this discipline.

Figure skating

Ukraine will perform at the Olympics in three disciplines out of five - in women's and men's individual competitions and in competitions of dance pairs. The Ukrainian figure skaters did not receive licenses for participating in team competitions among sports couples.

The country will be represented by:

Olexandra Nazarova, 21 years old / Maxym Nikitin, 23 years old

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The athletes fully switched to the adult level only recently, and before that they managed to win silver in the first Youth Olympic Games in 2012, the bronze of the Junior World Championship 2015 and the gold of the World Universiade-2017.

Forecast: Despite the fact that there are no great surprises in ice dancing, there is a clear gradation in the authority of duets, expecting Nazarova and Nikitin to jump higher at the first Olympics for themselves, but they are not considered promising. Now they are 10-11th as European and 15-16th as world dance couple.

Anna Khnichenkova, 23 years old

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The athlete received an Olympic license, taking seventh place at the Nebelhorn Trophy-2017 licensed tournament. At the recent European Championships in Moscow, she became the 23rd. This result is not much different from those shown on the previous two Euros - both times she was 21st.

Prediction: There are no special hopes for this skater.

Yaroslav Paniot, 20 years old

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After receiving the silver medal at the European Youth Olympic Festival-2013 in Brasov (Romania), experts started talking about one of the most talented young skaters of the Old World. However, since the 2015/2016 season, the progress of the athlete was not so great, and at the recent European Championships in Moscow, Paniot was generally unsuccessful (for the first time in his career he did not got to 24 finalists).

Forecast: It is expected for him to hit in top 10 since Paniot has showed such results from July 2017.

We recall, the Olympic Games – is the main and most important sports competition of the four years. They are known not only for their emotional intensity, but also for their traditions. This year, the Olympics will start on February 9 in Pyeongchang. It has a record number of participants - almost 3,000 athletes from 92 countries. They will compete in 15 sports. For 16 days of competition, athletes will compete for 102 sets of awards.

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