Ukraine wins ladies’ biathlon relay for first silver

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia (AP) — Four teammates endured proudly behind the Ukraine banner, smiles beaming, celebrating their nation’s first silver medal in the Sochi Olympics.

Parliament paused into the deeply split Ukraine to mark the event.

The ukrainian women provided some good news with their victory Friday in the 4×6-kilometer biathlon relay — Ukraine’s first Winter Olympics gold medal in two decades after days of deadly anti-government protests, and as government and opposition leaders worked on a political solution to the months-long crisis.

“Great evidence of just exactly how sport can unite the country,” Sergei Bubka, the pole vault great and frontrunner associated with Ukraine Olympic Committee, posted on Twitter. “Moments after girls won gold Ukrainian Parliament stopped conversations . Speaker greeted the united group, MPs sang nationwide anthem! It’s a day’s essential decisions in parliament. Hope the charged energy of sport assistance discover unity.”

“we have always been really proud,” Bubka stated. “The girls brought this type of success that is fantastic which really we required today for the Ukrainian people, to carry the light, to carry the bright future and also to show that Ukraine exists, the Ukrainian individuals together.”

It absolutely was an energy day that is shifting Ukraine, with Parliament voting to displace the 2004 constitution that restrictions presidential authority, clawing straight right back a few of the abilities that President Viktor Yanukovych had forced through after being elected this year.

“My nation has big issues but those are particularly great results for anyone in Ukraine,” Volodymyr Brynzak, president of Ukraine’s biathlon federation and vice-president associated with the Olympic that is national committee told The Associated Press. “Today’s success in Parliament and from now on by the group in this competition, it really is two victories for Ukraine today.”

Twins Vita and Valj Semerenko along with Juliya Dzhyma and Olena Pidhrushna to win the women that are last biathlon occasion at Sochi. There have been tears, then there have been smiles.

“When we stumbled on the podium we cried, and attempted to conceal it behind the skis,” Valj Semerenko stated. “It had not been only my rips, however the rips associated with entire Ukraine.”

An hour after the race, Pidhrushna urged a room full of people to stand for a minute’s silence in memory of the people killed in the protests in Kiev at a news conference.

“We dedicate this success into the entire of Ukraine,” stated Pidhrushna. “We focused from the competition, we have been expert athletes. Despite precisely what’s happening in the home, we sought out towards the begin line using the intent of performing even as we have the ability to. We understand everything we needed doing, and exactly how.”

Pidhrushna hoped the triumph possessed an unifying impact.

“Whether it is Russia or Ukraine, all individuals are going to be pleased she said for us. ” The Games that is olympic is situation whenever everyone is united.”

The biathlon triumph ended up being warmly welcomed by protesters on Kiev’s Independence Square, referred to as Maidan, the scene of road battles between protesters and police early within the day within the week.

“Today, Ukraine is winning in politics and activities,” Gleb Vashchuk, a protester on Maidan stated. “Ukraine is a nation that is strong has showed towards the globe how exactly to fight and attain the end result.”

A large number of everyone was killed and much more than 500 hurt in confrontations between federal government forces and protesters between Tuesday and Friday early morning.

“the news headlines has lifted our spirits after yesterday’s nightmare,” another protester, Vasyli Kosholynski, stated.

Ukrainians in Sochi celebrated the success.

“we think the specific situation inside our nation will soon be better because of this minute,” stated Zlatov Aleksander Sergeevich, a Ukrainian who studies in Moscow.

The Ukrainian group missed five objectives but avoided penalty loops in order to complete in one hour, ten full minutes, 2.5 seconds.

Protecting champ Russia had been 26.4 behind to just take silver, and Norway trailed by 37.6 to win bronze.

It absolutely was the 2nd medal for Ukraine these games, after Vita Semerenko took bronze into the women’s 7.5K sprint.

Germany neglected to achieve the podium within an Olympic ladies’s biathlon relay for the time that is first the activity became area of the Olympics in 1992 on each day the group had been rocked with legit a doping scandal involving Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle.

Germany ended up being the top-ranked ladies’ relay group but Franziska Preuss dropped and destroyed a pole from the lap that is first and destroyed much more time when she needed to blow snowfall from the sight of her rifle before beginning her very very very first shooting. Germany completed 11th, a lot more than three full minutes from the lead.

Franziska Hildebrand, whom skied the 3rd leg for Germany, said the group had been told about the doping test earlier in the day into the day.

“Our company is completely surprised,” Hildebrand said. “The good news is we attempted to focus on our battle today. . We desired to show the reason we have been this type of good relay group. But today we had been unlucky in the very very first cycle.”

Hildebrand and Henkel both said that they had perhaps maybe perhaps not talked to Sachenbacher-Stehle because the good result ended up being established.

Associated Press author Yuras Karmanau contributed from Kiev, Ukraine

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