By James Diamond |
Newly crowned women’s modern pentathlon world champion Anastasiya Prokopenko from Belarus has formally received her bronze medal from the Beijing 2008 Olympics, after the original winner Viktoriya Tereshchuk of Ukraine tested positive for a banned substance.
Ten years ago at the age of 22, Prokopenko finished fourth at what was her first Olympic Games and she has since failed to reach the podium at London 2012 and Rio 2016.
However, in 2017, a sample from the original bronze medalist in Beijing, Tereshchuk, was re-examined using recent technology and tested positive.
As a result, the Ukrainian was disqualified and ordered to return her medal, which has now been awarded to the new world champion Prokopenko.
As was arranged by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Belarussian was given her medal by the President of the International Modern Pentathlon Union Klaus Schormann in a special ceremony at the end of this month’s World Championships in Mexico City.
“I was waiting a long time for this medal, it is very close to my heart and I think that this will help me to get a good result in the next Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020,” she said.
“My dream is to be on the podium in 2020, to win a medal in the center of the Pentathlon Stadium, and this really increases my motivation during this Olympic cycle.”
Prokopenko said she hoped Tereshchuk’s positive test could be a lesson for young athletes about the importance of clean sport.
“I respect all the rules of clean sport and it’s very important that everybody plays under the same conditions, without any doping,” she added.
Prokopenko can now add her Olympic bronze to a medal collection which includes the 2017 European gold and World Championship bronze, as well as the world gold she won in Mexico City.
“Mexico City is my happy town now, and it will be an honor to keep this medal in my house,” she added.
Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz.