Lviv Sports

Taihō Kōki – Ukraine’s Greatest Sumo Champion

Issue 95, November 2016.
When hearing the word ‘sumo’, the image of a huge man in conjured – as unbeatable as a block of ice. And he must have Oriental origins. “So what does Ukrainian ‘salo’ have to do with that?” you might ask. Well, as it turns out, quite a lot! Did you know that Ukraine gave Japan one of its most powerful athletes of all time! Few people outside Japan know about sumo wrestling legend Taihō Kōki, who won 32 tournaments between 1960 and 1971 – a record that was unequalled until 2014. Fewer still know that his real name was Ivan Boryshko and he could trace his roots to Ukraine. Taihō (Ivan) was the son of a Japanese mother and Ukrainian father and is often held up as an example of what a mixed race person can accomplish in a traditionally conservative country. His dominance was such that he won six tournaments in a row on two separate occasions. He is the only wrestler to win at least one championship every year while a pro and he won 45 straight matches in a stretch in 1968-69.


Issue 95, November 2016.
Lviv’sHalychanka ladies handball team continues to be one of the strongest on the continent. The team travelled to Grodno, Belarus to take part in first round Baltic League action and handled all five rivals from Belarus and Lithuania.

Shakhtar vs. Gent

Issue 95, November 2016.
Lviv’s adopted football giants – Shakhtar Donetsk – returned to Europa League action in a Group B match against Belgian side Gent on October 20th. The fixture comes on the heels of a June 2016 friendly between the two squads that saw Shakhtarhandle their opponents 2:0.

STAR PLAYER, NOVICE COACH: Can Andriy Shevchenko lead Ukraine’s underperforming footballers to 2018 World Cup?

Issue 94, October 2016.
Based on resources and pedigree, Ukraine should theoretically be an international footballing powerhouse. Instead, the Ukrainian national side has been disappointing for decades. Can the appointment of former star player and complete novice coach Andriy Shevchenko as the new national team manager reverse this depressing trend?

September-October Sport Digest

Issue 94, October 2016.
Find more about Lviv Region Bodybuilding Open Cup Championship, Motocross at Mayorivka, Shakhtar's victory over Braga at Arena Lviv and Ukraine's participation at Paralympic Games in Rio de Janiero, Brazil

Equestrian Riders Vie for Lviv Open Cup

Issue 93, September 2016.
The Lviv Open Cup for equestrian riders drew nearly 120 contenders to Lviv’s Burevesnik equestrian sports camp from August 19-21 to compete in Show Jumping, Dressage, and Eventing competitions.

National Dragon Boat Races

Issue 93, September 2016.
Navaria Lake, located just outside Lviv, played host to the Lviv Cup 2016 National Dragon Boat races on July 23rd. For those unfamiliar with the sport, dragon boat racing is, simply put, a boat race between teams of 20 paddlers, a drummer, and someone that steers. It’s a team sport that encompasses the elements of power, speed, synchronisation, and endurance. From its militaristic beginnings in Southern China, dragon boating has become the fastest growing team water sport in the world and a very popular corporate and charitable event. More than that, Ukrainian athletes are very good at it.

World Strongest Team Championship

Issue 93, September 2016.
Arena Lviv was host to the World Strongest Team Championship international strongman competition on July 17th. The Ukrainian team of Oleksandr Lashyn and Volodomyr Reksha took on muscle-bound competitors from Norway, Poland, Finland, Georgia, and the USA. The athletes were pushed to the limits with challenges such as the two-man log lift, the Atlas stones, a tug-of-war, and the Conan’s wheel – where the athletes pick up 400+ kg and walk around the track as far as possible.

Olympics: Ukraine Wins 11 Medals

Issue 93, September 2016.
The Rio Olympics closed out with a party last month after the Ukrainian team – competing in their 6th straight Olympics – finished in 31st place with 11 medals (2 gold, 5 silver, and 4 bronze). Ukrainians won gold in gymnastics and canoeing, silver in shooting, pentathlon, fencing, and gymnastics, and bronze in canoeing and fencing. Ukraine was represented by 206 athletes, including 18 from the Lviv region that competed in archery, wrestling, fencing, rowing, shooting, artistic gymnastics, weightlifting, and pentathlon.

June-July Sport Digest

Issue 92, July 2016.
Find more about Canoe Sprint, Rugby Seven, EuroFanz 2016 and Ukraine's participation at EURO 2016