#Ukraine’s sudden emergence in the waterski world is due to a passionate lover of the sport – Alexy Martynov.
A former water skier and a successful businessman, he has virtually put Ukraine on the world map of water ski from his effort started twelve years ago when he formed the Sentosa water ski club and school in Dnepropetrovsk.
Located at Deborkader, it enjoys a quiet location on the banks of the River Dnieper in the place called “Pobeda”.
Danylo Fil’Chenko, a pioneer product of the club, who is competing in the IWWF World Waterski Championship at Putra Jaya, is competing in all three events – Slalom, Tricks and Jumps –, said he owes his rise to Martynov and the club.
“Martynov not only set up the club, but has been sponsoring the Ukrainian team to all the competitions,” said the 20 year who is studying construction management at the University of Louisiana Monroe in USA.
“The Ukrainian national team is virtually the Sentosa club team. It was only recently when our national team started getting results internationally, the government has come forward to support the team too.
“But it was the foundation laid by Martynow, his continuous support and his excellent site which has propelled waterski to our current status in Ukaraine,” said the winner in tricks and overall and second in jumps at the recent European Under 21 championship.
Sentosa laid back the foundation of a new, strong water ski school. Water ski sport was very popular and formidable in the past. In 1980 there were 5 water ski schools in Dnepropetrovsk.
Gradually, with the collapse of the Soviet Union, waterski sports clubs in Nikolayev, Odessa, Kharkov, Lvov, Dnepropetrovsk, Kiev and Kremenchug collapsed. Facilities were destroyed, water ski stadiums were damaged and coaches found new jobs.
In order to put new life to waterski, Sentosa, recruited the first set of young skiers and invited coaches from Belarus. On the restored water ski stadium they built summer base, which allows living on it and even store special equipment such as boats, suits, boards and skies. Also it has lifts for boats, commercial buildings.
The venue at Sentosa in Dnipro has also hosted The 2018 IWWF European & African Youth Waterski Championships last year where 100 skiers from 20 countries competed for regional titles.
The Ukraine national coach, Yeremeev Yuiry, currently with the Ukraine team here is also from Sentosa.
The other members of team also come from the club – 16-year-old old Alexander Samoilov (second at European Under-21 championship in Slalom and jumps), 17-year-old old Stanislava Prosvetova (first at tricks and overall at European Under-21 championship) and 13-year-old Damir Filaretov.
“We are a young team, but are looking forward to a good outing,” said Fil’Chenko who is ranked world number 2 in the overall events.
Yesterday after competing in the Open Men Serie 5 Shalom preliminary round and completion of Serie 6 and Serie 4 and 31 skiers, Fil’Chenko is on joint sixth currently.
The top twelve after all six series will qualify for the final.