About how Belarus and the Regatta Course met the athletes

Today the water in the Regatta Course in Zaslavl roughed from the strokes of the oars. The organizers of the Championships make lots of efforts to hold it successfully. Sergey Khmelkov, the director of the Republican Center of Olympic Training for rowing and canoeing sports, told about how Belarus became the host of the Championships, as well as how the regatta course was built and reconstructed.

— To host the current Championships, we made a great work during 5 years. At the end of 2010 the reconstruction of the course was finished, the infrastructure for preparation and holding international competitions was created. The first start in 2013 was the European Junior Rowing Championship. In two years we held World University Canoe Sprint Championship. The number of participants is increasing with every time. We tried our strength, work with teams, who are able to organize the international competitions.


When we bid for holding the current Championships, the selection was in Brazil, and the Belarusian delegation came for the presentation. Other counties participated in online-selection. International commission estimated our visit and personal attendance gave us possibility to obtain the right for holding the Championships in Belarus.

The great part of the time went to hold full preparation. New bridge, built to shorten the path for spectators to the competitions’ venue. Previously it was needed to overcome the distance of 3.5-4km to reach the tribunes. We also plan to finalize the construction of forty mobile boat houses at “half island” in the area of finish tower. It makes possible to submit the application for such major forums as the World Cup stages, European and World Championships. 

The great part of the facilities for holding the major tournaments are located on the rivers and lakes as a rule. There are not so many courses which are built specially for competitions. Apart from our courses there are courses in Krylatskoye (Moscow), course in Duisburg (Germany) and some others. 

Segrey Khmelkov

Our expectations regarding the number of participating countries have been satisfied. We have received 68 applications, some athletes from little countries didn’t arrive, but the main participants came. About 1,000 athletes and approximately 200 staff persons – coaches, doctors, massagers and etc. All of them are satisfied with the Championships organization and they enjoy the races. Some small issues are solved in an expeditious manner, — said Sergei Khmelkov. 

Some of the athletes could not finish successfully due to little wind over water but some of them were glad. Canoists Sergey Yemelyanov and Timofey Yemelyanov from Kazakstan compared the Regatta Course of the current Championships to others world courses: 

— The Regatta Course here is comfortable. For example, wind in Portugal blows out on the right: if someone goes on the right he is in luck. In Canada there was the river, not the course. There were shields: who go behind shields those are the leaders, because there are blown down. 

Kayakers from Russia Andrei Shmyrov and Viktor Gavrilenko decided the Belarusian Regatta Course is a real challenge to the athletes: 

— Note that accommodation conditions are good and we like Zaslavl Regatta Course. We thought that the weather would be worse but now we are glad. Truly speaking it seems that the course was built in an open area so lots of winds are the reason of additional challenges. However it is testing for strength, temper, will. We will see who is ready to fight against it. 

For young canoeists from Spain Belen Diaz and Antiа Jaсome the World Championships became the first major competitions. Positive mood helped them to take the second place in the semi-final at 500 m distance. The athletes shared their first impressions about the country, people and the competitions: 

— For us it is the first championships and we are satisfied by the way we have been met and the conditions submitted. I think that the same level of the competitions holding is suitable for Spain too. Everyone knows Belarusians as kind and sympathetic people. We completely agree with this statement.

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