"You all stood up for me! It's incredible!" Kharlan is impressed with Ukrainians' reaction to her disqualification from the World Cup
Ukrainian sabre fencer Olga Kharlan has called her admission to the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris a victory for the whole country. She thanked her compatriots for their incredible support after her unfair disqualification at the World Championships for refusing to shake hands with her Russian opponent.
Kharlan wrote about this on her Instagram page. The athlete noted that she was stunned by the scale of the Ukrainian reaction to her suspension from the World Championships. The 2008 Beijing Games champion added that she had experienced a real shock immediately after being eliminated from the tournament in Milan.
"This is the moment when you see no hope, feel unbearable pain and despair, think you are all alone. And then a whole multi-million country of Heroes stands up for you and changes everything in your life. I knew what I was risking, but I didn't expect that it would shake up the entire Ukrainian society and that everyone would join the fight with me! What is happening now will definitely go down in history. It is something incredible. All of you, my dear, stood up for me, thank you all! And our soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine are my love! Forever!" - Olga reacted emotionally.
It will be recalled that Harlan refused to greet Anna Smirnova in the 1/32 finals of the 2023 World Cup, after which the Russian staged a real circus, refusing to leave the track. She filed a protest against the outcome of the duel, which was rejected. It is worth emphasising that the Russian representative does not meet the criteria of a neutral athlete, openly supporting the Russian Armed Forces.
Kharlan was disqualified from the World Championships, and her punishment was cancelled on 28 July. Our sabre fencer herself said that the decision to exclude her from the tournament simply killed her.
As OBOZREVATEL previously reported, Russian Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin said that Kharlan had crossed all boundaries by refusing to congratulate her rival from the aggressor country. And the president of the Russian Olympic Committee, Stanislav Pozdnyakov, accused the IOC of showing "sensitivity and delicacy" to the Ukrainian.