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20.12.2013

Azarenka and Rutenko - best athletes 16

11:41, — Sport

Azarenka and  Rutenko - best athletes

Azarenka, Domracheva, Rutenko named best Belarusian athletes in 2013.

World No.2 tennis player Victoria Azarenka, biathlete Darya Domracheva and captain of the Belarusian national handball team Sergei Rutenko, currently contracted to Spains Barcelona, have become the best Belarusian athletes, according to the poll carried out among journalists by the newspaper Sportivnaya Panorama, BelTA has learnt.

It was the 55th time the oldest Belarusian sports newspaper has carried out the poll to select the countrys top ten athletes. Taking part in the poll were 102 sports journalists. Each athlete earned 10 points for the first place, nine for the second and so on.

Victoria Azarenka scored most points for a second time in a row. She beat then-world No.6 Li Na of China in the Melbourne final on 26 January 2013 to defend her Australian Open title and stay at the top of the WTA ranking. In February, the Belarusian defended the title at the Qatar Total Open after overpowering her arch rival Serena Williams, which was Victoria Azarenka's first victory over the American since 2009. Later her season was marred by injuries which forced her to withdraw from several tournaments, including Wimbledon. However, Victoria Azarenka successfully returned to the court at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati where she again managed to oust Serena Williams in the final. The Belarusian also reached the U.S. Open final for a second consecutive year but again failed to lift the trophy after being beaten, as in 2012, by the younger of the Williams sisters.

Biathlete Darya Domracheva was second in the vote. Last season was not the best one for her. Being one of the worlds fastest biathletes she lacked stability in shooting. Darya Domracheva won the mass start at the 2013 IBU World Championships Biathlon in Czechia for a second time in her career. At the E.ON IBU World Cup she won three events and was on the podium nine times. In the total World Cup ranking the Belarusian was second, which equaled her last year result. In the women's World Cup sprint and mass start score she was second only to Norways Tora Berger. In the World Cup individual score she was third.

On the mens side, the best sportsman of the year is handball player Sergei Rutenko, who was also voted the worlds best left back in 2013 in a poll conducted by the website Handball-planet.com. Taking part in that poll were eleven European handball journalists, while the 12th vote belonged to fans who could cast their vote on the website. Sergei Rutenko has scored 15 points, while his contender Filip Jicha of THW Kiel has earned 13 points.

The list of top ten athletes of 2013 is as follows:

1. Victoria Azarenka (tennis),

2. Darya Domracheva (biathlon),

3. Sergei Rutenko (handball),

4. Melitina Staniouta (rhythmic gymnastics),

5. Mikhail Grabovsky (hockey),

6. Vasily Kiriyenko (cycling),

7. Vladimir Samsonov (table tennis),

8. Timofei Kalachyov (football),

9. Dina Sazanovets (weightlifting),

10. Max Mirnyi (tennis).

The Belarusian national rhythmic gymnastics team claimed the first place in the non-playing team sports nomination. At the World Championships in Kyiv they won all-round gold for the first time in 15 years.

The Belarusian national handball team were named the best among other Belarusian teams in playing sports. They reached the round of 16 of the 2013 World Men's Handball Championship and came in 15th. The teams manager Yuri Shevtsov was voted the best head coach.

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