EuroHockey Indoor Championship in Minsk: fifth medal for Belarusian women’s team


EuroHockey Indoor Championship in Minsk: fifth medal for Belarusian women’s team

Yet another time Minsk succeeded in the organization of an important event. It seems that there’s no longer any need to prove that Belarus is able to host competitions of the highest rank. Last week Minsk residents had an opportunity to find out a little bit more about indoor hockey. It’s a sure thing that field hockey and its indoor variant are not as popular as ice hockey, but nobody who has ever seen this performance will stay indifferent towards this type of sport.

It’s cool. It is a new discovery for me. I saw a poster and decided to support the girls of our hockey team, because it was a large tournament and our team had a chance to win the European championship. I hope, our support appeared to be useful.

Playing at home, the Belarusian team was aiming for great results. The coaches were expecting the Belarusian team to get to the semi-final, the team was hoping for medals. However, everything could happen, and sometimes a home tournament not just becomes motivation, but also adds more pressure.

Anastasia Syroezhkina, member of the Belarusian indoor hockey team:
Psychologically it is really hard. You can feel the support, but it is a great responsibility as well. You don’t want to disappoint your fans.

However, there was a very important person among the spectators. Herman Kruis, the head coach of the Belarusian women’s team, prefers watching the game from the grandstand.

Herman Kruis, head coach of the Belarusian indoor hockey team:
I don’t speak Russian. My interpreter tells the team all they need to know. He’s sitting on the bench, and the team gets necessary instructions very quickly. Moreover, as I sit a bit higher, I get a better view of the field and all combinations.

According to the Belarusian players, a lot has changed with the arrival of this Dutch coach. He has a new approach to the training process, and he definitely has a lot to teach the Belarusian team.

Yulia Kurganskaya, member of the Belarusian indoor hockey team:
We had many training camps, which were very different from the ones we had before. The trainings were extremely hard for us. That is why now we have great strength and desire to win.

This hard training process appeared to be very fruitful. During the first day, the Belarusian team managed to win in the game against the German team, one of the leading teams in indoor hockey. Also, Belarus was able to beat Ukraine, which opened the door to the semi-final.

Rita Batura, captain of the Belarusian indoor hockey team:
We knew, that it would be a tough day for us, but our victory over the German team gave us additional motivation. As far as the Ukrainian team is concerned, we have been playing with them for a long time, so we know how they play. However, it was also hard, because they know us as well.

The final match in their group wasn’t going to change anything for the Belarusian team. However, it was preferable to win over Austria, so that to face the leaders of the tournament (the Netherlands) as late as possible. The game against the Austrian team was somewhat special for Yulia Mikheichik, as previously she was injured playing with Austria.

Austria was defeated 3:1. Thus, the Belarusian team got to the semifinal without any losses.

In the evening of the same day, Belarus had to face Poland in the semi-final. Needless to say, the Belarusian team wanted to get to the final very much. And the thing is that they had all chances to make it to the final, however, they weren’t lucky eventually losing to Poland.

Yulia Mikheichik, member of the Belarusian indoor hockey team:
Of course, we were disappointed. It’s hard to lose when you know that you had a good chance to win.

It is said that it’s hard to win over the same opponent twice during one tournament, however, the Belarusian team was able to do that. Belarus beat Germany in the game for the bronze medal (6:5). It’s the fifth time in history Belarus has got a medal in indoor hockey.

The Netherlands claimed the gold medal, as they defeated Poland easily (6:2).

The Belarusian women’s indoor hockey team proved once again that the country could be proud of its athletes. The team has a bright future and for sure many victories ahead.