On February 4-5 Moscow hosted the III “AAACup & Kayakfirst Winter Cup", an indoor tournament on simulators, with a prize fund of more than 2 million roubles.

The competitions were held in the spacious Basket Hall in Krylatskoye in compliance with sanitary and epidemiological standards.

A record number of people this year registered for the tournament - about 550 athletes, including participants of the Championships of Russia in rowing (indoor rowing discipline). For the first time, as part of the Ageev Brothers Winter Cup, races were held on simulators imitating not only kayaking and canoeing, but also rowing, dragon boats and SUP.

During the two days of competition 46 sets of medals were awarded in seven age categories. Kayakers and canoeists competed in the exclusive distances of the tournament, 350 meters (Supersprint) and 650 meters (Superforce). Races in the category 19 + gathered a number of world stars, medallists of the Olympic Games and World and European Championships. Two-time European champion Serbian Marko Dragosavlevich won the 350m men's kayaker final. In the 650m race he came second, losing gold in a tough fight to the world champion Vladislav Blintsov.

A regular participant and winner of the AAACUP, two-time world champion Andrey Kraytor, was not left without awards at this tournament either. Kraytor not only won silver and bronze in the Supersprint and Superforce distances in his customary canoe discipline, but also succeeded in the SUP race, confidentially taking first place, and won bronze in the mixed relay on the dragon boat. Among canoeists the best was Leonid Pankin, who beat more eminent competitors and won the finals of both cup distances.

Louise Crass, Anastasia Ganina and Olga Dubolazova were triumphant of the women's competition. Crass proved to be a real all-rounder, winning six medals in four disciplines: gold in kayak 350m, canoe 350m and 650m; silver in kayak 650m and SUP, as well as bronze in the mixed relay in the dragon 1000m.

Prize-winner of the European and World Championships Anastasia Ganina also became one of the most titled athletes of the third Winter Cup. She also won six medals in four disciplines: gold and silver in kayak, silver and bronze in canoe, gold in SUP and silver in rowing. Dubolazova focused on kayaking competitions and won four medals - three gold and one silver.

“The organization of the tournament is at the highest level, everything is done for the athletes," winner of the European and World championships, Olga Dubolazova, said.

"Between races athletes could recover in a cryosauna in high-tech massage chairs. This tournament is inspired by the love for the sport, it contributes a lot in popularisation of canoeing. In our sport no one else holds such competitions.

"In winter, during the period of training you are always in a routine, there are not enough tournaments like the AAACUP. And this is what the athletes need.

"I am very happy with my results at this Cup, that I was able to show myself at such a high level. In fact, simulators differ a lot from canoeing on the water. It's a completely different job. It is not so easy to perform on simulators even for professionals. You must completely forget the usual technique on the water and adapt to the simulators."

Indoor Cup Moscow action 2022

A traditional event for the AAACUP is a VIP kayaking race, which is attended by well-known entrepreneurs, representatives of the municipality, athletes from other sports, celebrities, including many who are only remotely familiar with canoeing. This time the VIP race was won with a big margin by Pavel Poselenov, the General Director of the State Budgetary Institution "SK Megasport" of the Moskomsport.

In addition to the amateur race, Poselenov also competed in professional disciplines, in SUP and kayak races in the 55+ age category.

In the SUP Stars race - VIP SUP race - one of the main stars was the two-time Olympic champion, 11-time World champion in artistic swimming Vlada Chigireva. Chigireva mastered the simulator only on the day of the competition, right before the start, which did not prevent her from performing very confidently and competing equally with many more experienced participants.

“It was very hard! I always respected this sport, I understood how hard it was, and on the middle of the distance, I started respecting it even more," Vlada Chigireva said .

"At some point, I thought that I couldn’t do it anymore, but I didn’t give up. Thank you all for your support during the race! It was my first time on this simulator, and I was just from an airplane. Thanks to everyone who prepared me."

For the first time the Championships of Russia in rowing (indoor rowing discipline) was part of the AAACup & Kayakfirst Winter Cup. Athletes under 19 and 23 competed in the classical distance of 2000 meters.

“From all the participants of the Championships of Russia in rowing the assessment of the Winter Cup is “5+," President of the Russian Rowing Federation, Olympic champion Alexei Svirin, said.

"This is the first time we are holding our championship on such a site. Everything was comfortable, everything was great. Coaches, athletes are happy, there are also spectators, support is good. This is truly a world level of holding top tournaments.

"Many thanks to the Department of Sports of the city of Moscow, our comrades Alexander and Andrey Ageev, Olympic champions Iurii Postrigai and Alexander Dyachenko for such a wonderful event. I hope that this is the first step towards a long and joint activity with us, with our Russian Championship. We will make the tournament even more colourful, meaningful and interesting.”

Svirin noted that the results the athletes showed at the Russian Championship were at the level of world indicators.

“Athletes showed good results here," he said.

"The classic result for men is to get out of six minutes at a distance of two kilometres. Today three medallists, Nikita Yeskin, Alexander Vyazovkin and Maxim Golubev, did it. Yeskin won with a result of 5 minutes 44 seconds.

World champion in indoor rowing Vyazovkin raced with a result of 5 minutes 47 seconds and did not win, which was a bit of surprise. Aleksandr Kovalsky, who competed at the under-23 category, performed with a result 5 minutes 50 seconds. These are the results of a serious world level, which cannot but encourage.”

Words and pics: AAACUP Media

Indoor Cup Moscow action 2022

Canoe Sprint
Dragon Boat
Stand Up Paddling
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