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Moscow hosts cross-country skiing tournament

 

Moscow’s Gorky Park has been hosting the cross-country skiing Continental Cup.

Natalya Korostelyova and Aleksey Petukhov, who won bronze medals at the Vancouver Olympics, emerged as winners.

The Russian capital is likely to be one of the host cities of next year’s Cross-Country Skiing World Cup, a major event in the winter sports calendar.

Cross country skiing in a park in the center of the Russian capital? It may surprise locals, but not citizens of the European cities where such competitions are usual occasions.

The stars of Russian skiing got to try out the course before the latest races – which may have been a factor in Olympic bronze medalist Natalya Korostelyova winning the final sprint.

“I love events like these in cities, there are usually lots of spectators, it helps to popularize skiing. And I’m always lucky! I love them and always win,” Natalya says.

The men's final turned out to be a real cracker.

Alexei Petukhov, another bronze medalist at Vancouver 2010, was the first to cross the line in a dramatic race after his main rival lost his balance.

“It’s great that this competition was held here. Despite there being less fans than say at a World Cup event, it is an Eastern Europe Cup, the organizers are happy with how the day turned out. And I think it would be great to hold a World Cup on the Red Square in Moscow. There would be crowds of fans. It is always great to compete and to win on Russian land. A sportsman raises his or her profile. It is a pleasure to the fans and to the athletes,” said Aleksey Petukhov after the final race.

Moscow has been desperately trying to host a leg of the World Cup in cross country skiing. And the good news is - the city has now won the right to host it.

“Both we and the Ski Federation are thinking about holding the World Cup in Russia the next year. In Soviet times we always hosted the World Cup and we want to get the competition back. After today's races we talked to Ski Federation officials, including the director, of course, and they approved our idea. Probably we will change the venue but for sure it will take place in Moscow next year,” said Russian Cross-Country Ski Federation President Elena Vyalbe.

After the competition, International Ski Federation heads wanted to verify if Moscow was able to host an event of the highest caliber - and they passed the test. So next year the capital will see the world's best skiers racing somewhere not far away - perhaps even on the Red Square.

Location

Moscow
Russia
55° 45' 20.8296" N, 37° 37' 3.4788" E

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