Russian Team Wins Bandy World Championship Y19


The Winter Universiade 2019 test competitions in bandy finished at the Yenisei Ice Stadium today. Russia played with Sweden in the final, and Finland met Norway in the third place play-off. The tournament ended with the official awarding ceremony for the champions and medalists of the Bandy World Championship Y19.

The morning programme of competitions started with the semi-finals. The first one was between the teams of Sweden and Norway; the former won but the latter put up a good fight. Norwegian players showed strong resistance, and it was only by the end of the first half that Swedish strikers managed to score three goals. In the second half the teams exchanged goals. The final score is 4:1 in favour of Sweden.
The second team to get through to the final was Russia. The game turned out to be really spectacular and full of suspense. Russia was quick to score two goals which were answered by one on from the part of Finland. The Finnish goalkeeper Isak Skog grabbed everyone's attention by his fantastic performance: he fended off two one-on-one strikes and turned aside two 12-metre shots. The Russian team proved to be faster than their opponents, more active in attack and thus managed to score three goals that were enough to score off. With the score 3:1, Russia won the game. Artyom Repyakh from the home team showed himself twice, and the third goal was scored by Ilya Bondin.
The evening part of the final day of the Bandy World Championship Y19 opened with the third place play-off. Finland scored two goals that were left unanswered by Norway. At the beginning of the second half, Ola Vigdal from the Norwegian team narrowed the gap, but at the end of the match Finland struck with two more goals and beat Norway with the score 4:1. Finland became the bronze medallists. Norway ended up fourth.
The stands of the Yenisei Ice Stadium were packed out for the final match between Russia and Sweden. Among the honoured guests were Russia's Minister of Sports Pavel Kolobkov and Governor of Krasnoyarsk Territory Alexander Uss. Russian players struck the Swedish goal nine times in the first half. Two corner throws ended in goals that were scored by Artyom Azarov and Valentin Golubyatnikov, while the Scandinavian team did not manage to take advantage of their moments. At the end of the half, the home team goalkeeper Nikita Toporov fended off a 12-meter strike shot by Lucas Widman. The second half was dominated by the Swedish players. Referees awarded two more 12-metre penalties, but none of them ended in the Russian goal. Having fended off both strikes, Nikita Toporov became a real hero of the match. Lucas Widman's success did not help Sweden much, leaving the home team to win the match 2:1.
Nikita Toporov, goalkeeper of Russia's bandy junior team, shared his impressions of the final match: "This victory is not only my achievement but that of the entire team, each of us. There were so many spectators in the stands, it was really great, without this support we wouldn't have made it. How could save two penalties? I just prayed."
The awarding ceremony to congratulate the champions and medalists of the competitions was attended by Sergey Lomanov, ten-time bandy world champion and Ambassador of the Winter Universiade 2019. The ceremony at the Yenisei Ice Stadium was followed by a final press conference with the heads of the winning teams. Mattias Rehnholm, main coach of the Swedish team, accepted the results of the tournament as fair: "Russia played better, especially in the first half. This is sport, and this time it was your team to win. I've been to many World Championships, but I have never seen any of such a level, with such organisation, and such a warm reception." Main coach of Russia's bandy junior team Vladimir Kitkov drew up the results of the competitions: "Parents of all our athletes came to see the match, we got an incredible support from the stands – we just couldn't but perform a feat! And so we became the champions."