Aliaksei Abalmasau

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Aliaksei Abalmasau
Abalmasau, Piatrushenka, Litvinchuk, Makhneu 2010 Belarusian stamp.jpg
Beijing K-4 1000 m team on a 2010 Belarusian stamp: Abalmasau (left), Piatrushenka, Litvinchuk and Makhneu
Personal information
Born 20 June 1980 (1980-06-20) (age 36)
Barysaŭ, Belarus
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Weight 83 kg (183 lb)
Sport
Sport Canoe sprint
Club Dynamo Barisov
Dynamo Minsk

Aliaksei Abalmasau (or Aleksey Abalmasov, Belarusian: Аляксей Абалмасаў, born 20 June 1980) is a Belarusian sprint canoer who has competed since 1998. Competing in two Summer Olympics, he won a gold medal in the K-4 1000 m event at Beijing in 2008.

As a junior, he had won a K-4 500 m bronze medal at the 1998 Junior World Championships in Nyköping, Sweden but he first came to prominence in 2000 when he won three gold medals at the European under-23 championships at Boulogne, France (K-2 1000 m with Vadzim Makhneu, K-4 500 m, K-4 1000 m). They retained both K4 under-23 titles in 2002.

The under-23 K-4 gold medalists were gradually promoted to the Belarus senior boat. Abalmasau's first senior appearance was at the 2000 European championships. They rapidly challenged the world's elite, winning two bronze medals at the European championships in Milan in 2001 and the world championship silver medal in Seville in 2002. In 2003, however, excellent early-season results were not repeated at the world championships in Gainesville, USA as they finished out of the medals.

In 2004, with Dziamyan Turchyn now on board in place of Aliaksei Skurkouski they won the senior European K-2 500 m silver medal in Poznań, Poland. In the K-4 1000 m Olympic final in Athens, they finished sixth.

In 2005 the Belarus K-4 crew established themselves as the world's number one 500 m boat. A gold medal in the European final was followed by victory at the 2005 World Championships in Zagreb, Croatia. They also won the bronze medal in the K-4 200 m final.

At the 2006 European Championships in Račice, Czech Republic, Abalmasau and his K-4 teammates did not defend their 500 m title, focusing instead on their least favourite distance, the 1000 m, which will be the only K-4 event at the Beijing Olympics. They won the silver medal, their best result yet over the Olympic distance. The following day they showed their sprinting credentials by winning the gold medal in the 200m final.

At the 2006 World Championships in Szeged, Hungary, the same strategy was used. In the 1000 m they took the bronze medal, again their best-ever showing, although coach Shantarovich said they should have won, accusing the crew of lacking a "killer instinct" in major championships. In the 200 m final, however, they finished in last place after Vadzim Makhneu broke a blade. The 2006 season also saw victories at the Poznan, Duisburg and Guangdong regattas.

At the 2009 world championships in Dartmouth, he won a gold in the K-4 1000 m event. Abalmasau followed up with a silver medal the following year in the K-4 1000 m event.

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