Kharlan admits what she told the Russian after the fight at the World Championships
Ukrainian fencer Olga Kharlan honestly told Russian Anna Smirnova that she refused to shake hands after the fight at the 2023 World Championships. Our compatriot noted that she acted professionally and did not say anything rude to her rival from the aggressor country.
Kharlan said this in an interview with Tribuna.com. The 32-year-old native of Mykolaiv added that she had fully accepted her suspension from the World Championships. Olga noted that she had immediately warned the organisers of the World Cup in Milan that she would not shake hands with her opponent.
"There are so many questions about it, I've heard so many: 'Oh, we hope you'll say something bad'. I didn't. First of all, I behaved professionally, I won this fight fair and square. But I told her that I would not shake her hand. That was it. I said: "I will not shake your hand." Of course, I agreed to this disqualification. I had a choice: either I get a disqualification - a black card - or I shake hands. I said that I would not shake hands under any circumstances, that I could do it with sabers, as I did during the covid. That was it," Kharlan said.
As a reminder, Olga refused to shake hands with Russian Anna Smirnova after the World Cup round of 32 match. This angered the Ukrainian's rival, who staged a real circus - she brought a chair onto the track and refused to leave the platform.
The Russian representative lodged a protest against the result of the duel, which was rejected. The propaganda TV channel Match TV published a photo of the denunciation that Smirnova had written against Olga.
It should be noted that Smirnova is not a "neutral" athlete, as required by the competition regulations. The representative of the aggressor country's brother is a military officer, and she is very proud of him, as can be seen from their joint photos.
As OBOZREVATEL previously reported, following a public outcry, the International Federation cancelled Olga Kharlan's disqualification from the championship and amended the rules of the fight. This decision caused a real hysteria in Russia. Olympic champion Yana Yegoryan was outraged at Kharlan, and world athletics champion Yolanda Chen called Olga a criminal.