Kafelnikov to play golf for UkraineSeptember 5th, 2012 - 6:29 pm ICT by IANS
Moscow, Sep 5 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Former tennis World No.1 Yevgeny Kafelnikov has snubbed his home country Russia to pursue his dream of Olympic golf with Ukraine, he said Wednesday.
Since retiring from tennis at the end of 2003, Kafelnikov has taken up golf with varying degrees of success, once becoming the Russian champion but failing to make the cut at any professional international events.
Golf will return to the Olympic schedule in Rio de Janeiro after a 112-year absence and Kafelnikov has long stated his desire to become an Olympic golfer after winning gold in the men’s singles tennis in 2000.
“It is highly likely that an offer will come to represent Ukraine at the Olympics,” Kafelnikov said.
“There are preliminary talks on financing my preparation for the Olympics from the Ukrainian side.”
Kafelnikov signalled a complete break with Russia’s golfing officials, who said they had offered him financing.
“I don’t have any special contact with the Russian Golf Association. I think that incompetent people who don’t understand golf work there,” he said.
Russian Golf Association director Elena Akhmedyanova said that Kafelnikov was “unfortunately” no longer in the national team.
“He was offered financing as part of the preparation of the Russian national team, including a pre-season training camp in the United States and participation in a wide-ranging calendar of tournaments around the world,” she said.
“This offer was rejected by Yevgeny.”
Kafelnikov’s last major golf tournament was the Austrian Open in July, where he missed the cut by eight shots. This was an improvement on his two previous showings at the Russian Open, where he missed the cut by 27 in 2008 and by 40 in 2005.
- Russian girls sweep synchro swimming at junior World Championships - Sep 18, 2012
- Olympic tennis: Williams stunned at success after Wimbledon - Aug 04, 2012
- Zvonareva confirmed for London Olympics - Jun 22, 2012
- Won't go to Olympics as a reserve: Kuznetsova - Jun 25, 2012
- US Open: Vesnina upsets Peng - Aug 29, 2012
- Russia asks Ukraine to extradite Putin plot suspect - Mar 01, 2012
- Olympic tennis: Sharapova in women's singles final - Aug 04, 2012
- Ukraine to extradite Putin death plot suspect - Aug 24, 2012
- Putin to cheer for Russian judokas in Olympics - Aug 02, 2012
- Paralympic gold for Russia in women's long jump - Aug 31, 2012
- Olympic athletics: Russia's Lashmanova wins walk in record time - Aug 12, 2012
- Russia to send 436 athletes to London 2012 - Jul 10, 2012
- Russian Paralympic archers sweep podium - Sep 04, 2012
- 10 circus lions dying on Russian-Latvian border - Feb 15, 2012
- Russia, Ukraine reach pact in sea border talks - Jun 05, 2011
Tags: association director, country russia, dg, elena, golf association, golf tournament, golfing, moscow, olympic golf, olympic schedule, olympics, pre season training, ria novosti, rio de janeiro, russian champion, russian national team, showings, tennis world, training camp, yevgeny kafelnikov