By Sports Reporter/ Doha
Belarus netted a full set of medals across the two Waterski Jump events, with a gold and bronze in the women’s and silver in the men’s.
After a disappointing showing in the preliminary event, finishing bottom of the six qualifying skiers, Aliaksandra Danisheuskaya (BLR) rallied to produce a spectacular winning jump of 49.5m. Her compatriot, 2018 European silver medallist Hanna Straltsova, managed 49.0m on her third attempt, finishing third, with Jutta Menestrina of Finland also making the podium in second place after nailing a 49.3m jump.
Danisheuskaya said it felt “awesome” to finish her season with a win at the ANOC World Beach Games Qatar 2019.
“This season wasn’t the best for me, I’ve been skiing well in practice but not in tournaments, so to finish strong is awesome. It felt like the season wasn’t a waste.
“Conditions today are a bit better, so that propped me up,” she added. “I got to go first today too so I didn’t know any scores, I think that helped me. Most of the time I like to go first, then I can watch everybody.”
In the men’s, Stepan Shpak (BLR) finished second, jumping an impressive 59.2m, although it was not enough to hold off a fine effort from 44-year-old veteran Vladimir Ryanzin (RUS), who was just knocking on the door of 60 metres with his 59.9m final result.
Speaking after the event, Shpak said preparation in his home country had been tricky, but he was not surprised by Belarus’s success.
“In Belarus it’s cold right now, so it was hard to prepare,” he explained. “I trained in Ukraine for a couple of weeks and everything came together. All the results were pretty close, but I’m so happy. I wanted to take something, and I knew it was possible.”
He added, “We are happy with the medals and happy to have first, second and third – three medals for us. That’s perfect.”
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