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26 February 2021, 10:55

Lukashenko: We are going to Tokyo Olympics to fight

MINSK, 26 February (BelTA) – Athletes and coaches should do their best to deliver, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said at the Olympic meeting of the National Olympic Committee (NOC) of Belarus on 26 February, BelTA has learned.

“We are going to the Tokyo Olympics to fight. And the more pressure is put on people the more they resist. In these conditions you need to reach great results to prove that we weren't born yesterday,” the Belarusian leader stressed.

He criticized the performance of Belarusian athletes in some sports. In particular, the head of state mentioned the unsuccessful performance of the Belarusian ice hockey team at the tournament in Kazakhstan. “They finished last,” the president noted. “How much did it cost to go there and back? And there are explanations again: you see, we don't have children's hockey.”

“It is good that they at least won a match against Dinamo [the match Dinamo Riga vs. Dinamo Minsk when Belarusian hockey players won 2-1]. Thank you,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

The president also mentioned the performance of Team Belarus at the 2021 IBU World Championships Biathlon. “What about the ‘wonders' at the recent biathlon worlds?” he asked. “I don't know what they will explain here.”

“Or they went to Egypt, played handball [the 2021 IHF Men's World Championship which took place in Cairo in January],” the Belarusian leader continued. “I don't understand how they could lead with 7-8 goals, then fail completely and lose even more in the same period.”

The head of state emphasized that a necessary basis for the training of athletes in different sports has been created in Belarus. “I do not understand what they lack to prepare well in their sports. I remember the first steps after the collapse of the Soviet Union. We can say that those athletes had nowhere to train,” he said. “Now they have the best facilities.” For example, a modern cycling track meeting all standards was built in Minsk. “And not think that tomorrow we will start copying Minsk in regions. It is not necessary for such a small country. Any athlete can come to Minsk and train here, at this cycling track,” the head of state said.

Addressing the sports minister, the president emphasized: “Sergei Mikhailovich, we need results. You know what the conversation will be like if our athletes fail at the Olympic Games.”

“You need to produce results! I understand that it is sport. But give your all and show that you can,” the president said.

After the report of the minister on the preparations for the forthcoming Olympic Games the head of state talked to heads of sports federations. They discussed what else could be done to improve the preparations for the Olympic Games and to ensure good performance. The participants of the Olympic meeting assured that the state had provided all necessary support and assistance. They expressed hope that the performance of Belarusian athletes at the Olympic Games in Tokyo will be a success. In their opinion, athletes need, first of all, to keep their fighting spirit. As far as the material and technical base is concerned, it has been created, all necessary tools are available.

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