Sport

Laletina, a distraught Ukrainian biathlete, withdraws from the Winter Paralympics when her soldier father is captured by the Russians

WINTER PARALYMPIAN Anastasiia Laletina of Ukraine withdrew from the competition after her father was captured by Russian forces.

Laletina’s father was a soldier in the Ukrainian army and was taken prisoner as the fighting continued nearly two weeks after the Russian invasion.

Anastasiia Laletina competes in the middle distance sitting event

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Anastasiia Laletina competes in the middle distance sitting eventCredit: Reuters
But she had to withdraw from the Paralympics after her father was taken prisoner by Russia

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But she had to withdraw from the Paralympics after her father was taken prisoner by RussiaCredit: Reuters

As a result, Laletina felt she could not participate in the middle distance sitting event in Beijing and would soon fly to Poland.

Ukrainian team spokesman Natalia Harach said: “Her father was a soldier in the Ukrainian army and was taken prisoner by Russian soldiers. They beat him.

“She was very upset and couldn’t take part in the race.”

Harach also revealed Laletina was visited by the team doctor to help her deal with the traumatic event.

The home of an assistant coach on the team was also bombed by a Russian missile in the second city of Kharkiv.

Ukraine had a successful Games despite difficulties at home, ranking third in the medal table with 19 – six of which were gold.

Meanwhile, Russian athletes have been banned from competing – even under the banner of the Russian Olympic Committee.

Belarus, which backs Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, has also been banned from the Winter Olympics.

The heads of the International Paralympics initially ruled that athletes from the two nations would be able to compete as neutrals but were disqualified from the U following a backlash.

In other sports, Fifa has banned Russia from playing in the playoffs for the 2022 World Cup and Formula 1 has excluded the Sochi Grand Prix from their race schedule.

https://www.the-sun.com/sport/4855258/ukraine-laletina-winter-paralympics-russia/ Laletina, a distraught Ukrainian biathlete, withdraws from the Winter Paralympics when her soldier father is captured by the Russians

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