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Russian biathlete Chirkova has the right to join Romanian national team, says coach

The 25-year-old biathlete won two bronze medals at the 2019 FISU (the International University Sports Federation) Universiade in Krasnoyarsk

MOSCOW, August 24. /TASS, Artyom Kuznetsov/. Russia’s female biathlon racer Yelena Chirkova decided to continue her sports career with the national team of Romania because she had little chances of entering the roster of the Russian national team, her former coach Lyudmila Panova told TASS on Monday.

The 25-year-old biathlete won two bronze medals at the 2019 FISU (the International University Sports Federation) Universiade in Krasnoyarsk. She decided to join earlier in the year the national biathlon team of Romani jointly with female biathlete Anastasia Tolmacheva and male biathlete Anatoly Oskin.

"Yelena [Chirkova] has not been even qualified for the reserve [national] team," Panova, who is the head coach of the Krasnoyarsk Territory’s team, told TASS.

The Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, which has a population of over one million, hosted the 2019 FISU Winter Universiade between March 2 and 12 bringing together some 3,000 athletes from 58 countries.

"Due to this transfer, she [Chirkova] will have a chance of fighting for a place on the roster of the new national team, while she had almost no chances of achieving it here in Russia," the head coach of the Krasnoyarsk Territory’s team, which Chirkova represented until recently, said.

"A level of the Universiade tournaments was what she was the most capable of and she was a bit short of qualifying for the [Russian] national team," the coach said.

"She [Chirkova] submitted this year all of the required documents, which are necessary to obtain the citizenship, and will therefore have no problems at all with the right to participate for the new national team," Panova added.