Pakistan to take part in its first Winter Olympics event

Abbas will ski in giant slalom

Staff Report

2010-02-22

VANCOUVER, BC -- For the first time, Pakistanis will be able to cheer on a countryman in the Winter Olympics February 23, when Muhammad Abbas joins four Central Asian men in the giant slalom.

Kazakhstan’s Igor Zakurdaev, Kyrgyzstan’s Dmitry Trelevski, Tajikistan’s Andrey Drygin and Uzbekistan’s Oleg Shamaev will join him. It will be Abbas’s only event.

Dmitry Babenko of Kazakhstan will take part in the men’s speed skating 10,000m competition, which will be Kazakhstan’s last chance this year for its first-ever speed skating medal. In women’s figure skating, Anastasia Gimazetdinova of Uzbekistan will take part in the short programme.

Central Asia is hoping to rebound after a disappointing weekend. After Kazakh biathlete Elena Khrustaleva won a silver medal Thursday — Central Asia’s only medal of these Olympic games — the region was shut out over the weekend.

On February 20, Kazakhstan’s Lyudmila Fedotova finished 38th in the women’s super-giant slalom. Zhibek Arapbayeva of Kazakhstan finished 23rd in women’s freestyle aerials, failing to qualify for the finals. Kazakh ski jumper Alexei Korolev finished 39th in the long-hill ski jumping finals. Kazakhstan’s Sergei Cherepanov and Yevgeni Velichko finished 49th and 28th, respectively, in the men’s cross-country 30km combined pursuit. Finally, Denis Kuzin of Kazakhstan finished 23rd in the men’s 1,500m speed skating finals.

On February 21, Zakurdaev finished 33rd overall in the men’s alpine skiing combined events. Khrustaleva followed up her silver medal performance with a 27th-place finish in the women’s mass start 12.5km biathlon. Yekaterina Aydova of Kazakhstan finished 29th in the women’s 1,500m speed skating finals.

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