Medeo, the giant skating stadium, is near the capital of the Soviet Kazakh republic Alma-Ata in the picturesque valley of the Malaya Alma-Atinka. 1,691.2 metres above the level.
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Background: Medeo, the giant skating stadium, is near the capital of the Soviet Kazakh republic Alma-Ata in the picturesque valley of the Malaya Alma-Atinka. 1,691.2 metres above the level.
On February 2, 1974 the stadium became the venue of the 1974 European speed-skating championship among women.
The first official International championship ever held in Medeo got off with a festive opening ceremony.
Taking part were 25 speed skaters from 10 countries.
Soviet team was represented by the first European champion Nina Statkevich and the young Tatyana Shelekhova, Tatyana Averina and Lyudmilla Savrulina.
The main rivals were Nina Statkevich and Atje Keilen-Deelstroj of Holland.
This was the fifth time that the two top European skaters were engaged in contest.
Both were twice the first in European championships.
There were most varied forecasts before heats began. as to the winner, among the fans newsmen and the contestants themselves.
Here's what Tatyana Shlekhova said one dy before the contest: "I think among the prize-winners will be Atje, Nina, Lyudmilla Savrulina and myself, each being able to become the champion.
The first day of the championship.
Right from the start the struggly was between the USSR and Holland teams.
The lot chanced to bring together Nina Statkevich and Atje Keilen Deelstra in two heats.
In 1,500m the winner was Atje.
In the second heat of 3,000m Nina Starkevich finished first well ahead of her rival.
The second day of the contest opened with pleasant occasion for one of the participants.
Dolores Lir of Switzerland was named by the newsmen covering the championship the most charming contestant of the Medeo Championship.
The 17-year-old girl born in Geneva was awarded "Miss Medeo-74 prize.
However this small celebration didn't hold for long the attention of the fans from the contest that insued.
As a team the Soviet girls placed far ahead from other teams. Not so in individual events.
Atje Keilen-Deel/stra/won three events.
But the forecast made by Tatyana Shelekhova did partially come true
The Soviet girls won 9 medals.
With Atje Keilen Deestra who was the first, Nina Statkevich was second and Tatyana Shelekhova--third.
At the end of the championship M. Jean Favar president of the International Skating Federation shared his impressions about the Championship.
"Medeo--Jear Favar said--is one of the best modern ice stadiums in the world.
"I'm sure world championships can be held here with equal success."
At the end of February best skaters will meet again in Holland where 194 World Championship is scheduled.