The first races of the European Ski Orienteering Championships and World Cup final in Khanty-Mansiysk were held earlier today at the Alexander Filipenko Winter Sports Center. The winners of both men’s and women’s sprints were Russians Sergey Gorlanov and Alena Trapeznikova. Still the official opening of the event took place in another venue – the pipe organ hall of the concert and theater center “Ugra-Classic”.
The ceremony started with the famous Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor, played on pipe-organ by Elena Kozemirenko. In the official part of the event the greeting speeches were held by the vice-president of the International Orienteering Federation Tatiana Kalenderoglu and the vise-president of Russian Orienteering Federation Alexander Bliznevskiy.
«I am really happy to welcome you here, in this nice Siberian city Khanty-Mansiysk and this country. It is a great opportunity for us to compete here at this challenging place, on these challenging courses and enjoy beautiful facilities of the Alexander Filipenko Winter Sports Center. I wish good luck to all of you, show your best performance in this Siberian land and enjoy your races. Good luck!” – said Tatiana Kalenderoglu.
«These competitions can be called the competitions of new discoveries. We have discovered this region to the whole world – the world of ski orienteering! We have seen many events but for the first time we see the event that was opened with pipe organ playing. I want to thank once again the organizers of the event, and I want to wish all the participants uncompromising battles. I hope we will have many more orienteering competitions held here!» – added Alexander Bliznevskiy.
After the greeting speeches the top-6 athletes of today’s sprint races were awarded. Later on the ceremony was followed by bright and spectacular performances of singers and musicians of Khanty-Mansiysk who have presented to the audience a rich culture of Russia and Ugra.
It is to be reminded that the European Ski Orienteering Championships and World Cup final races are held in Khanty-Mansiysk on March 10-15. 121 athletes from 15 countries are participating in the event.