Kazakh speed skater Yekaterina Aidova from Karaganda secured third position and took bronze during the International Skating Union (ISU) World Cup finals in Erfurt, Germany, March 21-22.
Aidova finished the 500-metre event behind Heather Richardson and Brittany Bowe of the U.S.
Aidova won the first podium for Kazakhstan since the 2000-2001 season, according to the zakon.kz website that interviewed the skater right after the event.
“Seriously? We hadn’t won a medal in 15 years at World Cups? I didn’t know that. Now I am even more delighted. I don’t know what history pages it will go into, but this day was happier than all other at the World Cups,” Aidova said.
The Kazakh skater finished fourth four times during the Astana World Cup stage in front of her home crowd and said that falling just short of a podium finish helped her stay motivated to break her own record to get on the podium this time in the finals.
In the men’s competition, top Kazakh skater Denis Kuzin pulled out of the event citing health reasons and saying that his season had ended.