MOSCOW, February 8. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has congratulated the national bandy team, which on Sunday won in the final match of the 2016 Bandy World Championship, clinching the title for the fourth consecutive year.
"You have once again demonstrated a spectacular and breath-taking game and once again became the strongest in the world," Putin stated in his congratulatory message to the team, which posted on the Kremlin website on Monday.
The 2016 World Bandy Championship kicked off held in Russia’s central city of Ulyanovsk on January 31 and after battling all through to the final reigning champions Russia met there Finland and confidently defended the title beating the Finnish squad 6-1.
The Russian president said that Russia’s victorious traditions in bandy "is the obvious proof of outstanding skills and the team’s cohesion as well as of the highest level of the Russian team’s preparedness."
This was the fourth consecutive and the tenth overall champion’s title for the Russian national bandy team since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Prior to that, the Soviet team won the title for 14 times after the inaugural Bandy World Championship was held in 1957.
Boris Skrynnik, the president of the Federation of International Bandy (FIB) announced on Friday that the sport of bandy could be possibly included in the Olympic program of competitions at the 2022 Winter Games in China’s Beijing.
"Official representatives of China assured us that they would do everything possible to include the sport of bandy, or as we call it the ‘Russian ice hockey,’ into the program of the 2022 Olympics," Skrynnik said last week.
Bandy was officially recognized as a winter sport competition by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 2001. However, bandy featured as a demonstration sport at the VI Winter Olympic Games in Norway’s Oslo in 1952 and FIB was officially registered in 1955 by four founding countries, namely Norway, Finland, Sweden and the Soviet Union.