Svetlana Sleptsova

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Svetlana Sleptsova
Sleptsova.JPG
Personal information
Full name Svetlana Yuryevna Sleptsova
Born (1986-07-31) July 31, 1986 (age 28)
Khanty-Mansiysk, Soviet Union
World Cup
Seasons 2007–
Wins 6
Additional podiums 10
Total podiums 16
Updated on March 12, 2011.

Svetlana Yuryevna Sleptsova (Russian: Светлана Юрьевна Слепцова; born 31 July 1986 in Khanty Mansiysk) is a Russian biathlete. She is a member of the club CSKA (Central Sports Club Of The Army). She is a three-time Junior World Champion and won the bronze medal in the mixed relay at the 2008 World Championships in Östersund. In 2009 she was part of the Gold medal winning Russian women's relay team at the World Championships in Pyeongchang. Sleptsova is an Olympic Champion in relay at the Vancouver

Svetlana Sleptsova was born in a sports family. At the age of ten, she started regular biathlon classes, when biathlon coach Alexander Korchak came to her school and invited her to engage in biathlon. In a chat of 17 January 2008 at Rasen-Antholz, Sleptsova recalls: "I started doing biathlon in third grade. There was nothing else but biathlon in Khanty-Mansiysk at that time. There was no alternative." Initially, the young athletes were shooting with air rifles, and the biathlon exercises were combined with ballet dancing, boxing, and karate.

Sleptsova achieved her first success in 2001, when she won the A. Strepetova prize at the Russian Youth Championships. In 2005, under the direction of Mikhail Novikov, she won the individual competition at the Youth World Championships in Kontiolahti (Finland), 1:15 minutes ahead of Vita Semerenko. A few months later, she suffered a severe loss—the death of her father.

Growing into the juniors' age group, Sleptsova became a member of the Yugra team of head coach Valery Zakharov. After two years, thanks to hard training under the sensitive guidance of an experienced coach, she advanced to one of the world's best junior athletes, and did her World Cup debut at Pokljuka in 2007. According to Sleptsova, this experience helped her to be better prepared for the Junior World Championships, and so she achieved two victories at Martell—in the sprint and pursuit competitions, respectively. The successful season for this young athlete was completed by the Senior Russian Championships, where she won three medals, and received a ticket to the country's main national team.

Sleptsova coped surprisingly quickly with senior biathlon, attaining several top-10 ranks before the start of the new year. Next, she finished the sprint at Oberhof, Germany as second, and repeated this result in the subsequent week at Ruhpolding. Later, after the disqualification of Kaisa Varis (Finland), she was awarded the victory of this competition. Sleptsova arrived at the 2008 World Championships in Östersund in good form, but an illness prevented her from demonstrating her maximum capability. However, she won the bronze medal in the mixed relay competition. At the end of the season, at Oslo-Holmenkollen, she achieved her first "real" victory, finally standing on top of the pedestal, and won the pursuit competition as well. She came up with similar results at the 2008 Russian Championships, winning three gold medals and the grand prize—a car. As of 2009, she has three world cup victories, excluding the one Varis retrieved after being cleared to compete again after IBU had broken test correction process.

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