Darya's Ball

How was it in Mikhail Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita?... 

"How did this tiring ball go? - Stupendous!  - rattled Koroviev. - Everybody’s enchanted, infatuated, crashed! So much tact, so much skill, charm, and loveliness!"  

Had this grotesquely dressed valet Koroviev been at Darya’s Legendary «Ball» he would have said something similar. 

Regardless of age or gender everyone was enchanted by the Legends’ Race last Saturday. If we looked at the "The Legends’ Race" as a litmus test, then Belarus should definitely get in to the bidding process to host one of the biathlon World  Cup stages; for the nation has shown so much interest in this sport that it is practically unstoppable now. It is worth noting that there were just three exhibition races featuring former biathletes; nevertheless, many sport fans wanted to get a firsthand look at the masters such as Michael Greis, Liv Grete Poiree, Sven Fischer and Ricco Gross, and to recall good memories of these outstanding athletes.

All the tickets were sold out and it was great news as the organizers announced that the funds raised will be donated to build the Children’s hospice. The biathletes were extremely excited having seen the crowded tribunes cheering them and responding to the emotional comments of Dmitry Guberniev.  

Three-time Olympic Champion Darya Domracheva remained the center of attention that day as she was the main reason, the «magnet» that attracted so many famous biathletes to Belarus.  

Countless people wanted to take an autograph or a photo with the leader of Belarusian National Biathlon team. And though Dmitry Guberniev admitted that he was not happy with Darya skipping the season her fans in turn supported the decision to take some time off and fully recover; even if it is not what they wanted.   


RAUBICHI (Belarus)

Supersprint (Women):

1. F.Baverel  (France) - 13.32,5 (0-0-1-0);

2. L.G.Puare (Norway) - 6.1 (0-0-2-0);

3. S.Hausvald (Germany) - 46.9 (0-0-1-0).

Supersprint (Men):

1. F.Andresen (Norway) - 11.32,9 (0-0-0-0); 

2. M.Grays (Germany) - 1.7 (0-0-0-0). 

3. S.Fisher (Germany) - 1.2 (0-0-0-0).

Mixed relay:

1. F.Baverel / S.Fisher (France / Germany) - 24.46,1 (0 +2).  

2. H.Ekholm / M.Grays (Sweden/Germany) - 0.2 (0 +8); 

3. E.Dafovska / R.Gross (Bulgaria/Germany) - 11.4 (0 + 5).

Darya Domracheva: «I hope this day will go down in history as the day when «The Legends’ Race» met the world for the first time and breathed new life into the «Raubichi» arena. The Great athletes who had been writing the history of biathlon for so many years came from all over the world; and they deserve to have at least one day when they all can go back in time and once again feel the excitement, and enjoy the competition heat».

Florence Baverel (France): «I accepted Darya’s invitation at once. However, I had completely forgotten about it and did not even train. By the way, I haven’t trained since 2007. Two days before the start I remembered that I would compete and began worrying. Fortunately, I got rid of this feeling, and everything worked out well».

Frode Andresen (Norway): «I didn’t even count on the podium in the first half, luckily everything changed after the third shooting round. I hit the targets very quickly and was feeling fine in the course of the track. We also have summer biathlon starts in Norway, but here in Raubichi is totally different for there is a great festival atmosphere and countless biathlon fans!»

Sven Fischer (Germany): «It was great for me to compete again. Wonderful emotions for which, of course, many thanks go to Darya Domracheva. The organization was at a very high level. How come my shooting performance was so good? Honestly, I haven’t been practicing. I guess when you are at the track the body retrieves the necessary motor and shooting skills. Although at the mixed relay I think I was just lucky. The highlight of the event was to catch up with my fellow-biathletes who I haven’t seen for ages. The tournaments like these give you that opportunity, so if I get an invitation next year I will definitely say yes!»

 The author: Sergey Versotsky, www.pressball.by