“We are considered in the world.” Surfers will perform at the 2022 World Cup under the Russian flag

Tatiana Postnikova

Tatiana Postnikova

Surfers will perform at the World Cup under the Russian flag

An international federation was found that did not impose sanctions on the Russians! It’s hard to believe, but it’s a fact.

Athletes from Russia will compete at the World Championships in the United States under their own flag, in case of victory, the national anthem will be played. Strange as it may seem to read this in our time, but it is a fact. The wakesurfing world championship in the USA will be held with the participation of Russians, not neutral athletes.

Leading in sports

Wakesurfing is a non-Olympic discipline, unlike classic surfing, which was included in the Olympics program only at the Tokyo Games. In fact, this is some kind of collaboration between surfing and wakeboarding.

Russian athletes in wakesurfing are considered one of the leaders. So, in the Russian team there are winners and prize-winners of the world championships, as well as medal winners of the European championships.

According to the World Rating System (WRS), in the Pro Men Skim division, Vitaly Ivanov ranks sixth, behind only the Americans and the British. In the Pro Men Surf division, the best of the Russians, Grigory Markaryan, is on the 14th line. Among women in Pro Women Skim, Alena Belyakova is in 11th position, and in Pro Women Surf there are two Russians in the top 5: Kristina Kolesnikova (third place) and Alina Lapina (fifth place).

The high level of Russian wakesurfers is also noted by the president of the Russian branch of the International Wakesurfing Association (CWSA) Svetlana Belova.

“Russian athletes represent our country very worthily. We have very strong athletes, wakesurfing is very well represented in our country. We occupy leading positions in the world ranking, we are considered in the world,” Belova told TASS.

“No athlete will be suspended”

On February 28, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) recommended that sports federations remove Russian athletes from international tournaments. Most federations followed the advice, depriving our athletes not only of the chance to compete in foreign competitions, but also canceling a number of international tournaments in Russia. Only a few federations allowed the Russians to compete, however, only in a neutral status.

The CWSA, which is responsible for wakesurfing, has gone further. It not only did not impose restrictions on the participation of our athletes in international competitions, but also did not oblige them to perform in a neutral status. Also in Russia, even after global sanctions, international wakesurfing tournaments continued to be held. So, in May, the South Pole Championship was held in Gelendzhik. The plans for the 2022 season include holding the Volga Surf Champ in Russia (August 4–5, Volgograd) and the Wake Time Open Championship (August 24–26, Mytishchi).

On July 23–24, the Kalinka Wakesurf Cup international competitions took place in Moscow. This tournament has become a qualifying tournament for the upcoming World Championship, which will be held from 6 to 8 October in the United States. It was at the Kalinka Wakesurf Cup that the head of the Russian Surfing Federation (RFS), Ilya Vdovin, announced that our athletes would be able to compete at the 2022 World Cup under the national flag. This was confirmed by the vice-president of the CWSA representative office, Maria Zhilkina.

“Russian athletes will compete at the World Championships under the flag of the country. They don’t remove the flag for us, they don’t remove us from international competitions, we are allowed to hold tournaments on the territory of Russia. The Board of Directors of the International Wakesurfing Association unanimously decided that not a single athlete will be suspended on a national basis,” Zhilkina explained.

Unfortunately, not all international sports federations are ready to treat athletes from Russia with such understanding and attention. So far, we can only rejoice that our wakesurfers will be able to feel like they used to at the World Championships and, if successful, rejoice in victories, looking at the Russian flag to the sounds of the Russian anthem. After all, it seems that the same story as with bobsledders and skeletonists will not happen.

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