Sport in Estonia

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Sport plays an important role in Estonian culture. Estonia first competed as a nation at the 1920 Summer Olympics, although the National Olympic Committee was established in 1923. Estonian athletes took part at every Olympic Games until the country was annexed by the Soviet Union in 1940. The 1980 Summer Olympics sailing regatta was held in the capital city Tallinn. Estonia has won most of its Olympic medals in weightlifting, wrestling, and cross-country skiing.[1]

Basketball[edit]

The Estonia national basketball team was at the 1936 Summer Olympics. Estonia also qualified to EuroBasket 2015, held in Ukraine.

Beach volleyball[edit]

Cricket[edit]

Estonia is also home to a unique variant of the game in Ice Cricket. The Ice Cricket World Championship is held annually in the Estonian city of Tallinn and is played upon the surface of a frozen lake. These tournaments are now sponsored by Bulmers Original Cider, Scottish & Newcastle, and they last from January until late March. In 2007, saw the formation of the Estonia Cricket Association. The league consists of four Tallinn based teams who compete in a round robin format. Players who are members of the Estonian Cricket Association are eligible to be selected for the national cricket team.

Cycling[edit]

Fencing[edit]

Épée Fencing has been very successful for Estonia in the past few decades. Oksana Jermakova became the first fencing World Champion for Estonia winning Individual Épée in 1993. Irina Embrich has won some medals in the past years. Nikolai Novosjolov became the world champion in 2010 and 2013. At 2013 Championships Julia Beljajeva also won the gold medal. Both team épée, women's and men's, have won championship medals.

Estonia has won 12 World Fencing Championships medals and several European Fencing Championships medals.

Floorball[edit]

Floorball is gaining popularity in Estonia, because of some recent success of the men's national team. The Estonia national floorball team finished the 2008 World Championships in 8th place, reached Quarterfinals in 2010 and finished the 2012 World Championships in 9th place.

Football[edit]

Main article: Football in Estonia

Football is one of the most popular sports in Estonia, although no minor honour has been achieved. Estonia advanced to the 2012 UEFA European Football Championship qualifying play-offs against the Republic of Ireland.

Formula racing[edit]

Handball[edit]

Ice hockey[edit]

Ice hockey is a very popular sport in Estonia. The Estonia men's national ice hockey team is currently ranked 26th in the world.

Judo[edit]

Judo is one of the most successful field of sport for Estonia. Since 1996, Estonia has won several medals in major international competitions.

  • 3 Olympic medals

Motocross[edit]

Rallying[edit]

Markko Märtin has claimed 5 victories and 101 stage wins in his WRC career.
  • Markko Märtin was the first Estonian who managed to win the WRC rally. Markko has scored 5 WRC victories, total of 18 podium finishes, 207 points and 101 stage wins. In 2004, he finished the season with 3rd place. Markko was one of the best rally drivers, but now he has retired. But thousand of rally fans from Estonia are still interested of WRC, visiting Rally Finland.

Rowing[edit]

Rowing is a pretty popular sport in Estonia. One reason is Jüri Jaanson, but there are also other well-known rowers in Estonia. Between 2004–2009, Estonia scored at least one medal in major international competition in every year: 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009.

Rugby union[edit]

Sailing[edit]

Twin brothers Tõnu Tõniste and Toomas Tõniste competed in four consecutive Summer Olympics, starting in 1988. They won a silver and a bronze medal in the Men's 470 Class, for the Soviet Union (silver, 1988) and for Estonia (bronze, 1992).

Skiing[edit]

Otepää is a popular skiing resort. Otepää is also known as the "winter capital" of Estonia (in contrast to the "summer capital" Pärnu). It is also the annual Cross-country skiing World Cup event. The 2011 Nordic Junior World Ski Championships was held in Otepää also.

In 2000, Raul Olle won Vasaloppet, which is considered as one of the oldest, one of the longest, and in popular consideration the biggest cross-country ski race in the world.

In 1999, when Estonian skiing found success at international level, winning medals at World Championships. Estonia has won 4 gold, 2 silver and 1 bronze medal at the Winter Olympic Games.

Andrus Veerpalu, Kristina Šmigun and Jaak Mae are one of the most popular athletes in Estonia. Skiing is very popular in Estonia.

Swimming[edit]

Tennis[edit]

  • Kaia Kanepi is an Estonian professional female tennis player. Her career-high ranking was set at World No. 16 on 7 February 2011.[2] Kanepi won her first Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Title in Palermo in 2010, becoming the first Estonian female player to win a WTA title. She has also reached four Grand Slam Quarter-finals, becoming the first Estonian to achieve this and was the first Estonian to be ranked in the top twenty.
  • Anett Kontaveit is currently the world number 7 junior in the world for girls combined ranking. She is the currently the youngest tennis player to win the Estonian Tennis Championships behind and the youngest Estonian ever to win a professional title and to have a WTA ranking.

Track and field[edit]

Track and field is gaining popularity in Estonia, shown by some of the recent success in this field of sport. Jüri Lossmann came in second on the marathon at the 1920 Olympic Games. Aleksander Klumberg won the bronze medal in 1924 in the men's decathlon competition. Between 2000–2009, Estonia scored at least one medal in major international competition in every year: 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009. Before that, Erki Nool won the gold medal in 1998.

Volleyball[edit]

Weightlifting[edit]

Weightlifting was one of the most successful field of sport for Estonia in the past.

Wrestling[edit]

Wrestling was also very popular and successful field of sport for Estonia in the past. In 2006, Heiki Nabi became the first amateur wrestling World Champion for his home country. But wrestling was the most successful Olympic event for Estonia between 1920–1936.

Other sports[edit]

  • Sumo wrestling was not very popular in Estonia in the past. But after Baruto found the real success in this sport, sumo wrestling gained popularity.
  • Andrus Murumets is an Estonian strongman. He won Strongman Champions League in 2009.
  • Kiiking, a relatively new sport, was invented in 1996 by Ado Kosk in Estonia. Kiiking involves a modified swing in which the rider of the swing tries to go around 360 degrees.
  • Estonia has also won many medals in ice yachting competitions.

Gallery[edit]

Gallery of famous Estonian sportspeople

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Xinhua News Agency – Ethiopian makes Winter Olympic history, Russian Pyleva banned – By sportswriter Xie Peilin – 18 February 2006 – [1]
  2. ^ [2]

External links[edit]