SOCHI (RUS) - The competitions in ski orienteering are included in the program of the Winter World Military Games right from the beginning.
At the first 2010, Military Games in Valle d’Aosta, Italy, and athletes competed in the middle distance in the individual and team all-around events among men and women. Three years later, in Annecy (France) orienteers determined the best sportsmen in the middle distance and relay. Today, on February 25, at the III Winter World Military Games in Sochi (February 22-28) male and female individual races in the middle distance took place.
It is hard to believe, but absolutely all the medals of the highest value, played out among men in the history of the Winter Military Games, are in the collection of one person — Major of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, an athlete of a branch of CSKA in Khabarovsk, 14-time world champion, honored master of sports, 43-year-old Eduard Khrennikov.
He was born on May 19, 1973 in Usolye-Sibirskoye (Irkutsk region). Back at preschool age, he moved with his family to Komsomolsk-on-Amur (Khabarovsk Krai), where he began to visit the section of orienteering since he was 14. In 1990, Khrennikov moved to Khabarovsk, joined the ranks of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, where he still serves, and began to train under the guidance of Yuri Semenchukov who is now president of the Federation of orienteering of the Khabarovsk Krai.
At the age of 25, Khrennikov first became a world champion at the tournament of 1998 in Windischgarsten, Austria where he won in the men’s relay race. The next decade in the world ski orienteering became the era of Khrennikov’s victories: at six world championships (in 2000, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2007 and 2009) he won 12 gold, two silver and one bronze medals, and he became the winner of the overall ranking of the World Cup four times (in 2000, 2003, 2006 and 2010).
In 2015, after the conquest of the 14th, currently the last “gold” at the World Cup in Hedmark, Norway, Khrennikov admitted that his own achievements do not longer impress himself. “I fully succeeded as a professional athlete, won everything possible. Now I’m more tempted by coaching career”.
During nine years of work as a coach, Khrennikov trained several world and Europe champions, among them are warrant officers Maria Kechkina and Tatiana Oborina. Today, on February 24, they, together with Khrennikov, compete at the III Winter World Military Games.
Before arriving to Sochi, Eduard Khrennikov said that it would be more difficult to perform on the home track at Laura Cross-Country ski and biathlon center than abroad. “They say that the walls at home are your friends. I do not believe that. It is always very difficult to perform at home because your results get closer attention from fans and the media”. The competitors could see: the Major of the Russian army dissembled: Khrennikov won “gold” of the race on the middle distance with a breakaway of 2 minutes 58 seconds from the nearest pursuer, a Bulgarian Stanimir Belomazhev.
The next start for the great Russian orienteering sportsman will be a race on a short distance at the III World Winter Military Games. It will begin tomorrow, February 26, at 1 p.m. at Laura Cross-Country ski and biathlon center.
(Source: Sochi 2017 OC)