Ukraine friendlies end in two wins and a draw
Ukraine played several international friendly matches prior to the resumption of Euro 2020 matches. Ukraine won 4-0 against Cyprus on June 7 at Metalist Stadium in Kharkiv, 1-0 against Northern Ireland on June 3 at Dnipro Arena in Ukraine and tied 1-1 with Bahrain on May 23 at Metalist Stadium in Kharkiv. Scoring for Ukraine against Cyprus were Andriy Yarmolenko (37th and 65th minute, with an assist by Marlos), Oleksandr Zinchenko (45th +2 minutes of the first half), and Roman Yaremchuk (59th minute off an assist by Marlos). In the UEFA Euro 2020 Group C matches, Ukraine is scheduled to play against the Netherlands on June 13, against North Macedonia on June 17 and against Austria on June 21. Ukraine resumes European qualifier matches for the 2022 FIFA World Cup on September 1 against Kazakhstan, on September 4 against France and against Bosnia and Herzegovina on November 16. Ukraine is ranked 24th in the FIFA rankings as of May 27.
Dynamo Kyiv wins 13th Ukrainian Cup
Dynamo Kyiv have won their 13th Ukrainian Cup title after defeating Zorya Luhansk 1-0 in extra time. The Ukrainian Cup final took place in Ternopil on May 13. Following the conclusion of the Ukrainian Cup, Shakhtar Donetsk officially confirmed that Luis Castro is stepping down as the club’s head coach, the club’s press service reported. A meeting took place between Castro and General Director at Shakhtar Donetsk Serhiy Palkin. The Portuguese manager was presented with a T-shirt with the No. 84 (the number of official matches Shakhtar played under his leadership) and a memorable souvenir, the report said. Castro signed a two-year contract with the Ukrainian club in the summer of 2019, replacing his compatriot Paulo Fonseca. Under Castro, Shakhtar won the Ukrainian Premier League title in the 2019/2020 season. Last year, the club reached the Europa League semifinals. In total, Shakhtar had 51 wins and 16 draws in 84 matches played under the leadership of the Portuguese manager. The club scored 168 goals.
Lucescu extends Dynamo Kyiv contract two years
Dynamo Kyiv head coach Mircea Lucescu will work with the Ukrainian club for at least another two years, according to the club’s website. Dynamo Kyiv President Ihor Surkis agreed with the Romanian on the extension of the contract. The Romanian manager signed a contract with Dynamo under the 2-plus-1 scheme last summer. Lucescu won the Ukrainian Premier League, the Ukrainian Cup and the Ukrainian Super Cup with Dynamo in his debut season. In the Ukrainian Premier League, Dynamo Kyiv is 11 points ahead of Shakhtar Donetsk. Lucescu spent last year in the club under pressure from the ultras. Active fans are dissatisfied with the appointment of the coach who used to work for rival Shakhtar in the past. The new season of the Ukrainian Premier League is due to start on July 25. Dynamo and Shakhtar will meet in a match for the Super Cup on July 24.
Malinovskyi named MVP in Italy’s Serie A league
Atalanta midfielder Ruslan Malinovskyi has been recognized as the Most Valuable Player for the month of May in Serie A, according to the league’s official website. The award was presented on May 23 before the Atalanta-Milan match, the report said. For May, Malinovskyi scored two goals and had three assists in four matches in the Italian soccer championship. Malinovskyi scored in games against Parma and Genoa. This season, Malinovskyi scored 10 goals and had 12 assists in 42 matches for Atalanta in all competitions. On May 19, the Ukraine midfielder scored in the Italian Cup final against Juventus (1-2), but his goal did not help Atalanta win the trophy.
Svitolina in sixth place in WTA rankings
Ukraine’s No.1 tennis player, Elina Svitolina, has remained in sixth place in a new ranking of the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) released on May 30. Among the top-100, Ukraine’s Dayana Yastremska is in 38th place and Marta Kostyuk is in 81st place.
Kostyuk advances to Round of 16 at Roland Garros
Eighteen-year-old Marta Kostyuk served notice that she is the next Ukrainian women’s tennis star with her play at the 2021 French Open. She started the initial round of 128 by upsetting 12th-seed Garbine Muguruza of Spain, 6-1, 6-4, then defeated China’s Saisai Zheng, 6-3, 6-4, and Varvara Gracheva of Russia, 6-1, 6-2 in the round of 32. Defending champion and No. 8 seed Iga Swiatek stopped Kostyuk’s run in the Round of 16 by scores of 6-3, 6-4. The Polish Swiatek held off a fierce challenge from her Ukrainian competitor by extending her consecutive sets winning streak to 22. Kostyuk, who had not lost a set while powering through the first three rounds, piled on the pressure early, earning a break for 2-1. An unfazed Swiatek broke straight back, gaining the upper hand in the eighth game on a Kostyuk missed backhand, and serving out to take the lead. The second set saw Kostyuk go up 30-0 in the 10th game, only to have Swiatek win four points in a row. Elina Svitolina made it to the Round of 32 before losing to Czech Barbora Krejcikova, 3-6, 2-6. In her first two rounds, Svitolina beat Oceane Babel of France, 6-2, 7-5 and Ann Li of the U.S.A., 6-0, 6-4. Anhelina Kalinina of Ukraine provided an early shocker when she upset 26th seed Angelique Kerber of Germany in the first round, winning most convincingly with scores of 6-2, 6-4. Kalinina then lost to American Danielle Collins, 0-6, 2-6. In doubles action, Round of 64 play saw twin sisters Lyudmyla and Nadiia Kichenok face off against each other, with Nadiia’s duo (with Raluca Olaru of Romania) winning the family affair match (Lyudmyla was paired with Arina Rodionova of Australia). Nadiia’s team was ousted in the second round 4-6, 5-7 against Clara Burel and Chloe Paquet, both of France.
Lomachenko to fight Nakatani in Las Vegas
Lightweight Vasyl Lomachenko (14-2, 10 KO) is set to fight against Masayoshi Nakatani (19-1, 13 KO) of Japan on June 26 at Virgin Hotel in Las Vegas. This is Lomachenko’s first return to the ring since his loss by unanimous decision to Teofimo Lopez of the U.S.A. in October 2020.
Usyk scheduled to fight Joshua in September
Undefeated heavyweight Oleksandr Usyk (18-0, 13 KO) is set to fight against Anthony Joshua (24-1, 22 KO) of Great Britain, who will defend his WBO, WBA, IBF and IBO heavyweight title. The fight is scheduled to take place in September, with a date to be confirmed, at the Tottenham Hotspurs Stadium in London. Usyk was originally scheduled to fight against Joe Joyce of the U.S.A., while Joshua was scheduled to fight against fellow Briton Tyson Fury for a title unification bout. The Joshua-Usyk fight became possible as Usyk was named the mandatory WBO challenger.
Ukraine wins 14 medals at European Aquatics Championships
Ukraine won 14 medals (seven gold, five silver and two bronze) at the 2020 European Aquatics Championships on May 10-23 in Budapest. Ukraine won first place in artistic swimming with 1,140 points and finished in fifth place in the diving competition (173 points, one gold and two silver medals). Mykhailo Romanchuk won two gold medals in the men’s 800-meter freestyle (7:42.61 seconds) and the 1,500-meter freestyle (14:39.89 seconds). Andriy Govorov won silver in the men’s 50-meter butterfly (23.01 seconds). In artistic swimming, Marta Fiedina won gold in the women’s solo technical routine and silver in the solo free routine. Ukraine’s teams won gold medals in the team free routine, the combination routine and the highlights routine, as well as silver medals in the women’s duet free routine (Fiedina and Anastasiya Savchuk), and in the duet technical routine; Ukraine also won silver in the team technical routine. In diving, Kseniya Baylo and Oleksiy Sereda won gold in the mixed 10-meter platform synchronized dive; in the men’s division, Oleksandr Horoshkovozov and Oleh Kolodiy won bronze in the men’s 3-meter springboard; and Kseniya Baylo and Sofiya Lyskun won bronze in the women’s 10-meter platform synchronized dive.
Ukraine attains three qualifying spots for Tokyo Olympics
Ukraine won three qualifying spots for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games at the World Wrestling Olympic Qualification Tournament on May 6-9 in Sofia, Bulgaria. In men’s freestyle, Vasyl Mykhailov (74 kg) won silver, Taras Markovych (57 kg) and Valeriy Andriytsev (97 kg) won bronze medals. In Greco-Roman, Parviz Nasibov (67 kg) won silver, and Mykola Kuchmii (130 kg) won bronze. In women’s freestyle, Alla Belinska (76 kg) won gold after defeating Yasemin Adar of Turkey in the final. Olympic qualifying spots were attained by Mykhailov, Nasibov and Belinska.
Second-place finish for Ukraine at U23 Euros
Ukraine finished in second place (13 medals – five gold, three silver and five bronze) in the medals standings at the 2021 European U23 Wrestling Championships on May 17-23 in Skopje, North Macedonia. In team rakings, Ukraine won first place in the women’s freestyle (183 points) and finished in fifth place in the men’s freestyle (99 points). In women’s freestyle, Khrystyna Demko (55 kg), Alina Akobiia (57 kg), Tetiana Rizhko (62 kg) and Oksana Chudyk (68 kg) won gold, Kateryna Zelenykh (65 kg) won silver, and Liliia Malanchuk (50 kg), Mariia Vynnyk (53 kg) and Solomiya Vynnyk (59 kg) won bronze; in men’s freestyle, Erik Arushanian (65 kg) won gold, Valentyn Babii (79 kg) and Denys Sahaliuk (86 kg) won bronze medals; in men’s Greco-Roman style, Ihor Kurochkin (60 kg) and Andrii Kulyk (72 kg) won silver medals.
Ukraine’s team advances to Euros
Ukraine advanced to the 2021 Women’s European Volleyball Championships after finishing in second place in Group B of the qualifying round in Matosinhos, Portugal, and Tblisi, Georgia, on May 7-16. Ukraine won 3-1 against Portugal on May 7, lost 0-3 against Sweden on May 8, won 3-0 against Georgia on May 9, lost 2-3 against Sweden on May 14, won 3-0 against Portugal on May 15, and won 3-0 against Georgia on May 16. Ukraine is in Pool D of the tournament (with Finland, the Netherlands, Romania, Sweden and Turkey), which is scheduled for August 18 through September 4 and is co-hosted by Serbia, Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania.
Four medals for Ukraine in Croatia
Ukraine won four medals (one gold, one silver and two bronze) at the 2021 European Karate Championship on May 19-23 in Porec, Croatia. Stanislav Horuna (75 kg, kumite) won gold after winning against Rafael Aghayev of Azerbaijan in the final. Anita Serogina (61 kg, kumite) won silver, Kateryna Kryva (50 kg, kumite) won bronze and Ukraine’s men’s team (Valrerii Chobotar, Horuna, Ihor Lahunov, Ryzvan Talibov, Andrii Toroshanko, Kostiatyn Tsymbal and Andrii Zaplitnyi) won bronze in the kumite. Ukraine tied with Russia for sixth place in the medals standings, and the competition attracted 513 athletes from 47 countries (Ukraine was represented by 14 athletes). At the third European Para Karate Championships, held at the same time and place as the European Karate Championships, Ukraine tied with Portugal for sixth place with one silver and one bronze medals. The European Para Karate Championships attracted 49 athletes from 16 countries, with Ukraine represented by four athletes.
Runner’s World website features Samokysh
Artem Samokysh, a member of the Ukrainian Running Club New York, was featured on the cover of the official Runner’s World website for the Boston Marathon promotional campaign. The photo was shared via the Ukrainian Running Club New York’s Facebook page in a post dated April 23. The Boston Marathon is scheduled for October 11. The photo was from the 2020 Boston Marathon, taken by Boston Globe contributor David L. Ryan for Getty Images. The race in 2020 was held virtually with runners allowed to choose where they run the 26.2-mile race. Samokysh is seen in the photo running past his wife, Tatiana, and Danielle Buchma (also a member of the running club), who held a ribbon for him to pass through as he crossed the finish line. The photo can be viewed online at https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/artem-samokysh-crosses-the-finish-line-past-his-wife-news-photo/1228527017.
Ukraine wins 15 medals in Hungary
Ukraine won 15 medals (five gold, four silver and six bronze medals) in the overall standings at the ICF European Olympic Qualifier/ICF Canoe Sprint and Paracanoe World Cup on May 12-16 in Szeged, Hungary. In paracanoe, Ukraine won first place with five medals (three gold, one silver and one bronze medal). Nataliia Lahutenko (VL3) won gold in the women’s 200-meter final and bronze in the women’s (KL2) 200-meter race, Maryna Mashula won gold in the women’s KL1 200-meter race, Serhii Yemelianov won gold in the men’s KL3 200-meter race, and Mykola Syniuk won silver in the men’s KL2 200-meter race. In sprint, Ukraine won fourth place with 10 medals (two gold, two silver and six bronze). Liudmyla Luzan and Anastasiia Chetverikova won gold in the women’s C2 500-meter race, Ukraine’s four-man kayak team (Dmytro Danylenko, Oleksandr Zarubin, Kyrylo Chernomorov and Denys Lakhmanov) won gold in the men’s K4 500-meter race. Mariya Povkh won silver in the women’s K1 500-meter race, Mariia Kichasova-Skoryk and Liudmyla Kuklinovska won silver in the women’s K2 200-meter race. Bronze medalists included Viktor Svyrdiuk (men’s C1, 1,000 meters), Luzan (women’s C1, 200 meters), Dmytro Danylenko and Oleh Kukharyk (men’s K2, 500 meters), Vitaliy Vergeles and Andrii Rybachok (men’s C2, 500 meters), Povkh and Ivan Semykin (mixed K2, 200 meters), and Luzan and Chetverikova (women’s C2, 200 meters).
Ukraine collects 13 medals in Poland
Ukraine’s paracanoe team topped the medals table with five medals (four gold and one bronze medal), while the canoe sprint team won eight medals (two gold, two silver and four bronze medals) at the 2021 Canoe Sprint and Paracanoe European Championships on June 3-6 in Poznan, Poland. In paracanoe, Mykola Syniuk (men’s KL2, 200 meters), Serhii Yemelianov (men’s KL3, 200 meters), Maryna Mazhula (women’s KL1, 200 meters) and Nataliia Lagutenko (women’s VL3, 200 meters) won gold. Lagutenko also won bronze in the women’s KL2, 200 meters. In canoe sprint, Liudmyla Luzan won gold in the women’s C-1, 500-meter race, and Luzan and Anastasiia Chetverikova won gold in the women’s C2 500-meter race. Luzan won silver in the women’s C1 200-meter race, and Dmytro Danylenko and Oleh Kukharyk won silver in the men’s K2 500-meter race. Bronze medals were won for Ukraine by Vitaliy Vergeles and Andrii Rybachok (men’s C2, 500 meters), Liudmyla Babak (women’s C1, 5,000 meters), Luzan and Chetverikova (women’s C2 200 meters), and Mariya Povkh (women’s K1, 500 meters).
Credit to Ihor Stelmach for the tennis entry on Marta Kostyuk.