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Belarus hopes for medals in biathlon and freestyle at 2018 Olympics

Belarus hopes to win medals in biathlon and freestyle at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, said Deputy Minister of Sports and Tourism, chief of the mission of the Belarusian team in the upcoming games Alexander Baraulia.

According to Alexander Baraulia, three stages of preparation of Belarusian athletes have already been completed, the final fourth begins now. "A group of applicants for licenses has long been formed, qualifying competitions will continue until mid-January 2018. Finally, the international federations will publish ratings on January 22, then it will be possible to finally say who will go to the Winter Olympics," he said.

Alexander Baraulia said athletes, it will be difficult to achieve the results Belarus had in Sochi in 2014, where they won five golds and one bronze medal. One should take into account the potential of athletes. "Of course, each of the participants expects the maximum result. Opponents will also come for the awards, and, in my opinion, the psychological readiness will be of great importance at the Olympics. Plans for Pyeongchang training were prepared four years ago. Of course, Mr Baraulia said, Belarus pins hopes on biathlon and freestyle. We are observing positive dynamics in speed skating," the chief of mission said.

He noted that the Belarusian Olympic team has 45 candidates in six sports: biathlon, freestyle, speed skating, short track, ski racing and skiing.

"At the moment Belarus has ten licenses (five men's and five women's). Freestylers at the World Cup stages of the 2017/2018 season plan to win four licenses for men and three for women. There are one or two licenses in short track and in a ski resort - two licenses, skating - two or four licenses. In skiing, six sportsmen received a task to qualify," said Alexander Barauliaia.

Figure skating has only theoretical chances for a trip to Pyeongchang. The national ice hockey team could not qualify for the Olympics 2018 eigther. It lost at the home tournament in September 2016 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang (Republic of Korea) will be held from 9 to 25 February 2018, the playershletes play 102 sets in 15 sports.

At the previous Games of the quadrennium in 2014 in Sochi, five gold medals won by Daria Domracheva (three medals), freestyle wrestlers Anton Kushnir and Alla Tsuper, and a bronze medal for biathlete Nadezhda Scardino, are the assets of the Belarusian team.

Belarus hopes for medals in biathlon and freestyle at 2018 Olympics