The tense situation between Ukrainian, Russian and Belarusian athletes does not subside in the tennis Tour, and also involves other sports. Former tennis player and Ukrainian fighter Alexandr Dolgopolov talked about the Russian fencer Anna Smirnova, who has asked for the disqualification of her Ukrainian opponent Olha Kharlan for a refused the handshake.
The incident happened at the World Fencing Championships: Ukrainian fencer Kharlan refused to shake hands with her Russian opponent after defeating the latter. After losing to her, Smirnova requested the disqualification of her opponent for not shaking her hand.
Dolgopolov wrote on Twitter: "Russians and bellorussians playing the victim, is a consequence of impotent sport authorities and non sport institutions. Not only have they not said a word, to enjoy western life and values, but also they try to damage Ukrainians in any way they can, on their personal level."
russians and bellorussians playing the victim, is a consequence of impotent sport authorities and non sport institutions.
Not only have they not said a word, to enjoy western life and values, but also they try to damage Ukrainians in any way they can, on their personal level https://t.co/EK1ZZnnvoS — Alex Dolgopolov (@TheDolgo) July 27, 2023
Elina Svitolina on the handshake between Ukrainians and Russians
Elina Svitolina talked about the handshake-issue with Harper's Bazaar, after the defeat in the semifinal at Wimbledon against Marketa Voncrousova: "War? It's very difficult not to constantly think about it.
Whenever I'm online I often see messages from friends and the truth is that I have to try to isolate myself as much as possible. But at the same time, it gives you perspective on what's really important. If during a match I have a difficult moment, I try to think about what the Ukrainian people are going through, then I can't complain.
I'm lucky, I can dedicate myself to what I love and I'm healthy. Many Ukrainian women I have spoken to since the beginning of the war tell me that their outlook on life has been irreparably altered. The war taught us to think about the present, not to take anything for granted, to take better care of family and friends.
I think we all treasure every little moment in life now. It's very sad and frustrating to me that people don't understand this. It's a matter of course not to shake hands when I have so many frontline friends fighting for Ukraine.
Can you imagine them watching me compete at Wimbledon and seeing me shaking hands like nothing happened? People have to understand that sometimes you can't separate politics from sport. They represent their country and I represent mine in front of the world. In this sense, my position must be clear."
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