Main hopes of Belarus at 2018 Olympics


Main hopes of Belarus at 2018 Olympics

Belarus can really claim medals in only two sports during the 2018 Olympics - this is biathlon and freestyle skiing.

Of course, the main medal hopes are connected with the name of the three-time Olympic champion Darya Domracheva, who is holding the first full season after the birth of her daughter Ksenia.

The beginning of the season was not the best for Daria, who had to switch back to Fischer skis before she started showing decent results.

Domracheva again began to feel calm and self-reliant, and her leitmotif of pre-Olympic commentaries was "everything is going according to plan."

What inspires optimism in front of Pyeongchang is the absence of obvious failures in Domracheva's personal results.

Darya won 2 gold and 2 bronze medals, but what's good is that out of 10 races in which she reached the finish line she did not get into the top 7 only once.

MORE: Main rivals of Domracheva at Olympics 2018

Forecasters are still cautious regarding Domracheva. The analytical agency Gracenote in its forecast for the Olympic Games in Pyeongchang in the women's biathlon predicts a breathtaking triumph for the German Laura Dahlmeier, predicing her to win 6 gold medals! Domracheva is predicted only 2 awards - silver in the pursuit and bronze in the mass start. Although back in January, they believed in Daria even less, giving her only silver in pursuit.

But it's not only Domracheva in Belarus, right? Don't forget about the silver of Irina Krivko in the mass start at the World Cup in Annecy and the gold of Nadezhda Skardino in the individual Ostersund race.

Skardino also won a small Crystal Globe, the first in her career. This became an argument even for the AP agency forecasters, which gave Nadezhda Skardino silver in the women's individual race.

The Belarusian women's team is also capable of surprising in the relay race, where Domracheva, Skardino and Irina Krivko will be joined by Nadezhda Pisareva. She, of course, is inferior in skills to the teammates, but she is the best candidate for the role of "the fourth". Belarus also has Dinara Alimbekova but she has far less experience.

Freestyle is another sport in which Belarus can hope for gold. In Sochi-2014 Belarus won two golds. Both winners of the previous Games - 33-year-old Anton Kushnir and 38-year-old Alla Tsuper - are in the current squad too.

MORE: Interesting facts about Anton Kushnir

The Olympic season proves that they can win some more awards. Anton Kushnir climbed on the podium in four of the six World Cups - gold on January 6 in Moscow, silver on January 20 in Lake Placid and two bronzes (December 17 in Chinese Secret Garden and January 12 in American Deer Valley).

Third place in the overall standings is a solid result.

Alla Tsuper performed more modestly, becoming only 11th in the overall standings, and her best result at the World Cup stages was 7th position (in China). But we do not forget about her colossal experience and remember that Alla first tried her golden Olympic jump only shortly before the Games in Sochi. The first such jump at official competitions was the one she performed at the 2014 Olympics!

The potential of the men's freestyle team is not limited to Anton Kushnir. Maxim Gustik is another candidate for a medal. This season, he took 4th place in the World Cup, in December he took silver at the first stage of WC in China, and only in one of the remaining five stages he took places lower than the top 8.

In the current season, 25-year-old Anna Guskova also showed progress taking 2nd place in the World Cup in ski acrobatics. One more Belarusian, 21-year-old Alexandra Romanovskaya, who took 4th place in the same ranking, is also worth watching.

MORE: Belarus' Olympic squad