Ukrainian record holder penalized for beer: after suspension, the track and field athlete entered the top 5 at the world championships
Renowned Ukrainian hammer thrower Mikhail Kohan has so far posted the best result among Ukrainians at the World Athletics Championships-2023 despite being penalized by the national federation and missing most of the season's starts. He finished fifth in Budapest with 79.34 meters and takes the blame off himself as it is hard to compete for honors after a long suspension.
Kohan, winner of the Youth Olympics and world under-18 champion and record holder, and fellow hammer thrower Mykhailo Gavrilyuk were banned in late March from all international competitions until October 1, 2023.
The only exception was international competitions, where they could qualify as representatives of the national team. This gave Mikhail the opportunity to compete at the European Games-2023, where he became a silver medalist.
The FLAU Council cited the athletes' violation of ethical standards of behavior as part of the official delegation of the Ukrainian national team to the European Throwing Cup in Leiria as the reason for their punishment. There were rumors that there was a scuffle. After the performance at the World Cup in Budapest, Mikhail admitted that he had consumed alcohol and made a mistake, but considers the punishment too radical.
"At the winter European Cup was a very difficult emotional state against the background of the war, against the background of preparation, in addition, I was sick, there was no result, so after the competition I allowed myself to drink beer. It turned out to be against the rules of the Ministry of Youth and Sports. The head coaches of our sports saw it, we had a verbal altercation. And that's how they decided to punish me," Mikhail told Telegram channel v1latsports.
"Yes, I was wrong in that situation and it was my fault for doing that, but the measures taken were too drastic. It hurts the athletes. And it could have been solved in a different way, so that it did not affect the result at the World Championships today," Kohan said.
According to Kohan, it was good that he was allowed to compete at least a little bit on the eve of the World Championships in Budapest: "Fortunately, after the European Youth Championships I was allowed to take part in two international starts and it certainly gave me confidence". However, it still wasn't enough for him to compete for World Championship medals.
"Maybe we should disqualify me one more time so I don't have any experience at all. I don't know what happened, it seemed fine, but something went wrong. The result? Fourth or fifth, or eighth place - it's all the same. We have to keep preparing. I don't consider myself guilty, it's not my fault that it happened like this. Because I'm absolutely sure that if not for this suspension, it would have been much better," - said the athlete in his commentary.
After the World Championships, Kohan's season is over due to punishment: "There are a few starts after Budapest, but where will I go?" Although less than a year remains before the Olympics-2024 in Paris, and Mikhail was one of those Ukrainians on whom bets were made in France. After all, the 20-year-old was fourth at the last Games in Tokyo.
Earlier OBOZREVATEL reported that the track and field athlete fell a meter before the finish line and lost the "gold" of the world championship.