At the end of February, Shymbulak ski resort hosted an international competitions in alpine skiing – Silver Edelweiss. They were held under the auspices of the International Ski Federation (FIS). There were 60 athletes from seven countries of the world: Armenia, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, France and Kazakhstan.
«In 2014, Silver Edelweiss «received the official status of «test event» in the run-up to the 28th of the World Winter Student Games in Almaty in 2017», – informed the press service of GF “Board of international sports projects of the city of Almaty”.
The Kazakhstan team which takes start on «Silver edelweiss», this year include 34 athletes. Among them Igor Zakurdayev, gold medalist of the winter «Asian Games» 2011, participant of the Olympic Games in Sochi 2014.
The program for men and women includes four «Alpine» disciplines: slalom, giant slalom, super-g and super combined. By tradition, the «Silver Edelweiss» were included the Veterans ski race, held on February 25.
«Seven years ago on «Shymbulak» were revived competition with the name of our beautiful mountain flower, after a multi-year hiatus. Starting for the first time in 1961 year, these competitions were very popular among skiers in the Soviet Union and the socialist countries. Today we are looking at the «Silver Edelweiss» as crucial test event to both urban and sporting services responsible for conducting the World Winter Student Games in Almaty, as well as an excellent platform for Kazakhstan athletes to improve their skills and gain experience of international competition,– said Ilya Urazakov, head of the International Department of GF sports projects in Almaty».
Downhill of the Shymbulak ski resort have been certified according to the standards of the International Ski Federation (FIS) and the tournament «Silver Edelweiss» is included to the official calendar of this influential International Sports Federation. This means that participants have the opportunity to earn points by the FIS, which will enable them to increase their rankings and participate in the World Championships and other international competitions.
"I am convinced that we need to make greater use of the benefits that gives us nature of Zailiy Alatau. It is required to popularize skiing in our country and support them at the State level, to recreate sports sections and instil to children a love to winter sports. To pay more attention to promising young sportsmen. We need to develop the mountain resorts across the country and to build new ski facilities, which, as world experience shows, became centres of development of international tourism in the regions", – said Andrei Obyskalov, a spokesman for the FIS in the countries of Central Asia.
Back in 1961, the Kazakh Council of Sports Societies sponsored the tournament for skiers on the «Silver Edelweiss» prize , which first started in the same year. Since then, the competition became traditional. Each year the strongest sportsmen from all over the Soviet Union were on the slopes of the Zailiy Alatau, to compete for the title of leader. The competitions were of great importance in the preparation of the Soviet athletes to international competitions. The names of the ski sportsmen participating in the Chimbulak sporting events, knew the whole country. Among them, Alexander Mitrozaev, Valery Artemenko, Gennady Mineev and Viktor Markin. In 80-s of the last century all-Union competitions for the first time have become international. On the Shymbulak competed skiers from Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Poland and many other countries.
Prize-winning places in giant slalom distributed as follows: best time and gold of standings has the Frenchman Benoit Jago (2: 23.13), advancing skier Alex Beniaidze from Georgia (2: 23.16) for three tenths seconds. Once again, France has bronze – Theo Leloup finished third with a result 2: 24.43. Igor Zakurdayev at the fourth place.
However, our compatriot still managed to obtain one more medal for Kazakhstan. He became the third in the giant slalom, winning the bronze medal (1: 41.61). Silver got to Theo Leloup and gold once again won the same Benoit Jago (1: 40.25).
The whole podium in women's competitions took slalom athletes from Ukraine. First place – Bogdan Matsotska (1: 46.22), the second – Olga Knysh (1: 50.38) and third place-Tatyana Tikkun (1: 51.34).
The leader of the overall team score round «Silver Edelweiss” became the Ukrainian team, which won four gold medals in all disciplines thank to Bogdan Matsotska; two silver and bronze medals in the team brought girls – Olga Knysh and Tatiana Tikkun.
On the second place of standings are Kazakhstans. Two gold medals brought Taras Pimenov in Super-g and Igor Zakurdayev in the Alpine combination. Three silver medals were won by Maria Grigorova and Igor Zakurdayev (Super-g), Ekaterina Karpova (Alpine combination). Five bronze medals: Nikita Kalyuzhnov (Super-g), Taras Pimenov and Catherine Cherepanova (Alpine combination), Maria Grigorova (giant slalom), Igor Zakurdayev (slalom).
The third Alpine skiers from France: two gold medals at the best time for Jago Benoit in giant slalom and slalom; two silver medals thanks to Emilien Delor (Alpine combination) and Theo Leloup (slalom); one bronze medal in giant slalom at the Theo again.
– I have excellent impressions of the competitions, I think it is very important for our country to hold such competitions at the international level, – said gold medalist of the Asian Winter Games 2011 year, participant of the Olympic Games in Sochi 2014 Igor Zakurdaev. – I have the challenge of making the World Cup, European cups, has just returned from the World Championships and had a good results on competitions, but there is still work to do.
– It took place at the highest level, – shares his impressions Bogdan Matsotska. – The rivals are very strong, worthy competition does not relax. We just recently took part in the World Cup, but came to Almaty because it is great experience for the Ukrainian team. I think skiing should be developed in Kazakhstan, because you have huge potential for that. Still I love the responsiveness and friendliness of the Kazakhstan people.
Source: Kazakhstan Today