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As the New Year draws near, Itar-Tass traditionally presents the top 10 Russian sport events of the year.
On October 5, the most eagerly awaited boxing fight with the prize fund of 23.2 million U.S. dollars, took place in Moscow. Ukrainian heavyweight boxer Wladimir Klitschko, the world super champion holding titles with the WBA, WBO and IBF, fought against Russian Alexander Povetkin. The fight took place at the Olympiysky (Olympic) sports complex, however, the Russian fans were dissatisfied with its results. Klitshcko completely dominated, wining every round, giving Povetkin no chance. The judges put the score unanimously at 119-104.
On October 15, the Russian football team tied with the Azerbaijani team and for the first time since 2002 qualified for the FIFA World Cup finals that will be held in Brazil in June - July 2014. The RF team led by Coach Fabio Capello topped the qualifying Group F, one point ahead of Portugal. On December 6, the final draw was made, according to which the Russian team will play against the Belgian, South Korean and Algerian teams.
On August 10-18, Moscow hosted the World Championships in Athletics, which ended with the triumph of the Russian team, which won seven gold medals. Yelena Isinbayeva was the brightest in the pole jump, jumping the height of 4 metres 89 cm. Although the Luzhniki spectators did not see Yelena’s world record, the return of the renowned athlete took place. After that she announced the suspension of her career.
The torch relay for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic kicked off in Moscow on October 7. During four months of the relay the torch will travel more than 65 thousand kilometres by all kinds of transport. The Olympic flame will visit all regions of Russia, and in the outgoing year it has descended to the bottom of Lake Baikal, traveled to the North Pole, the Elbrus Mount summit and even has been launched into space.
The capital of Tatarstan on July 6 - 17 hosted the Summer World University Games (Universiade), which were successful not only in terms of the event organisation. Russian athletes have set an absolute record of these competitions, winning 155 gold medals! Many sports facilities, in particular, the Kazan Arena football stadium for 45,000 spectators where FIFA World Cup final matches will be held in 2018, were built for the Universiade in Kazan. Russian athletes continued their success at the Winter World University Games in Trentino, Italy, in December. The Russian athletes won the team event there.
In September, Russia’s volleyball team for the first time ever won the European Championship, continuing the winning traditions established at the London Olympics. The European Championship events that were held in Poland and Denmark started for the Russian team with a crushing defeat in a match against Germany, but the defeat in the group tournament with the score 0-3 made the Russians recollect strength, and in four playoff games the Russian team lost only three games, defeating the Italian team 3-1 in the final in Copenhagen.
May 18 became a high for the fans of the CSKA Moscow football that regained the Champion of Russia title after seven years. Having played for almost the entire season without their top scorer Seydou Doumbia, the team of Leonid Slutsky eventually managed to come two points ahead of Zenit. On June 1, CSKA won the second prize of the past season - Cup of Russia, defeating Anji Makhachkala in the final in a penalty shootout in Grozny. On July 13, CSKA won the prize of the new 2013/14 season, defeating Zenit in Rostov-on-Don with the score 3-0 in the Russian Super Cup match.
Russia’s conventional football team is still far from major victories, but its beach soccer team has long been defeating even Brazilians. For the second consecutive year, the Russian team won the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup, winning a match against Spain 5-1 in the final in Papeete (Tahiti) in September. The team led by Mikhail Likhachev won all six matches of the tournament.
In May, the Russian junior football team (under 17) achieved great success, becoming the European champion. The guys born in 1996, led by Dimitri Khomukha at the tournament in Slovakia manned up, finishing ahead of all competitors with only one victory during the normal playing time! The crushing defeat of the Ukrainian team (3-0) and ties with Croatia and Italy allowed the Russians to qualify for semifinals, where the team twice played 0-0 with the Swedes and Italians already in the final. But both times Khomukha’s team won in a penalty shootout.
The traditional Dakar rally, which was held in January 2013 on the roads of Peru, Argentina and Chile, ended with a confident victory of the KAMAZ-Master truck team led by Eduard Nikolayev. The second and third places were taken by other KAMAZ teams of Airat Mardeyev and Andrei Karginov. KAMAZ regained the title of the strongest team, which it had lost after the departure in 2011 of Vladimir Chagin who has won the Dakar rally seven times.