Ukraine runs tryout stage for Invictus Games 2017

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Photo by Ministry of Defense of Ukraine

A qualification sporting tournament among Ukrainian disabled military veterans is being held in Kyiv on April 22-23.

As many as 114 former and active servicemen with combat-connected disabilities compete in six sports, including athletics, stationary rowing, cycling, powerlifting, swimming, and archery.

The events take place in three locations in Kyiv: the Trukhaniv Island, the Armed Forces CSK Pool and the Athlete Sport Complex.

Major General Igor Gordiychuk, a highly popular Donbas war hero severely wounded in combat while commanding Ukrainian troops during the battle for Savur Mohyla in summer 2014, was chosen to be a chief referee for the games.

Fifteen best-performing athletes would form the Ukraine’s national team for Invictus Games 2017 tournament, which is due to take place in Toronto in September.

The Invictus (the Latin word for “undefeated”) Games, an international sporting tournament for disabled war veterans of NATO member states and the alliance’s strategic partners, was initially held in London in 2014 under the patronage of Prince Harry of Wales.

The tournament is similar to the Warrior Games, performed annually in the United States since 2010 in support of those who had been severely injured while serving their military duties.

This year, it will be the first time for Ukraine to participate in the games, Ukraine’s deputy defense minister Oleg Shevchuk told. The ministry said the awarding ceremony will be followed by a huge charity concert in the Khreschatyk, Kyiv’s main street.

According to Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko’s statement for the Sky News channel dated April 20, at least 420 Ukrainian servicemen have been wounded in the year 2017 alone amid continuing warfare against Russian-sponsored militant forces in the eastern region of Donbas. Over 2600 were killed since the outbreak of war in spring 2014.

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