Elena Kalinina was prevented from becoming European kiteboarding champion

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The Russian has won 14 races out of 18 at the European Championship and has not become the champion, reports.

This scandalous story began with the successful performance of Elena on her new name-board from TemaVento. She finished the first day1-2-1-1, leaving her main rivals far behind. Reigning multiple world champion Steph Bridge protested against Elena's board, but the organizing committee measured the same evening and found no irregularities.

The second day of the European Masters Championships, July 25, our athlete held with a smashing result for her rivals - 1-1-1-2. Suddenly the organizing committee made a decision - the board was 5 mm out of the declared size. Lena was saved the results of the first two days, but she had to change her board. Her old board, which fits all the measurements, was given to her by her tutor. Roman Lyubimtsevand he withdrew from the competition.

Elena Kalinina comes first on this board as well. Then the sporting spirit of the competition is finally left at sea, and on shore they begin to make intrigues: Englishwoman Stef Bridge creates a closed group in Facebook, where she accuses the Russian athlete of cheating. « That's the way it is - 3 boards of Temavento are disqualified by the measurement results. However, the riders were kept the results of the last 8 races. Why are we encouraging cheating? » ," she writes there.

« Intrigues, scandals, investigations» continued with the Englishwoman filing a new protest to the organizing committee, backing it up with signatures from a group of disgruntled associates on Facebook. As a result, the races are postponed and it is decided to disqualify Elena for the first 8 races according to rule 78.1 (compliance to class rules). Committee re-measured all TemaVento boats and disqualified 23 more racers because of various technological defects. The reason is that IKA homologated boards from TemaVento do not comply with the dimensions stated by the manufacturer.

Despite the fact that there was no hope for the first place in women's classification and Russian team's protest was rejected, Lena Kalinina went all the way and during two days on another board brought only the first places in all races, getting a deserved ovation from spectators.

What's amazing is that even with the results of the two qualifying race days nullified, Lena was able to make it into the medal races and take 5th place. England's Steph Bridge still came in first. She said that in the last races the gap between her and Lena had shrunk, so that board really didn't meet the rules... However, in the medal race Lena lost to her only once, coming in second.

To all appearances, it seems that the intrigues of the athletes and kiteboarding equipment manufacturers intertwined in this story and as a result the talented athlete was not given a deserved place, and even a hint not to take part in the World Championships.

Judges Anna Deyanova and Jana Dobrzycka comment on WPSF web site: «At the World and European Championship level competitions there is an international jury, so the right to appeal is canceled in accordance with Rule 70.5. But if the athlete or coach officially appeal to WPSF, you can send an official request to the ISAF Questions and Answers Service and ask for an explanation of the situation. As for the influence of the matrix on the result, the fact that after the change of the board Elena finished first in every race speaks for itself».

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