Ukraine hosts its first Triathlon National Championships since invasion
This week, the Ukraine Triathlon Federation has hosted the Sprint and Mixed Relay National Championships for the first time since the invasion of the country. Despite the difficult circumstances for athletes, coaches and officials, Sofiya Pryyma (Lviv) and Sergiy Kurochkin (Kiev) were crowned the 2023 Champions at the event organised in Chernivtsi, near the border with Romania.
Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in March 2022, the conditions for the triathlon family in the country have been extremely challenging, but the National Federation, as well as athletes and coaches, have counted on the full support of World Triathlon, Europe Triathlon and the worldwide triathlon community, which has provided funds to help the elite athletes to continue with their preparations for competitions, to train outside the country and subsidise their travel to some competitions.
Over 50 athletes lined up on 7 June for the Sprint National Championships, that saw Sofiya Priyyma and Sergiy Kurochkin crossing the finish line in first place for the elite category, while Ivan Shevchenko and Ksenia Korniyenko won in the U23 category. Winners of the junior races were Ivan Tkachenko and Sofia Bondarenko and on the youth category, it was Yeva Soroka and Goncharuk Illya on top of the podium.
And after a great day of races on Tuesday, Wednesday 8 June was the day for the Mixed Relay competition, where athletes from different clubs and cities teamed in groups of four as in all international Mixed Relay competitions.
Only a few days before the National Championships, the President of the Ukrainian Federation, Bogdan Mykhalus, was in Madrid for the Europe Triathlon General Assembly, while the athletes Vitalii Vorontsov, Sofiya Pryyma, Maryna Kyryk and Kseniia Levkovska competed at the European Championships, and Vita Oleksiuk (and her guide) and Alisa Kolpakchy competed on the Para Triathlon European Championships. All of them are supported and receive funds to continue to pursue their Olympic and Paralympic dream by World Triathlon and Europe Triathlon.