Ukrainian Kickboxing Star: Uliana Mishchenko
Mishchenko was only 9 when she chose kickboxing. Since then, her life's been on a tight schedule - exhaustive training twice a day, five times a week
Her journey to Sarajevo and to proving to the world that she’s a force to be reckoned with was a long one, years in the making.
Mishchenko was only 9 when she chose kickboxing. Since then, her life’s been on a tight schedule — exhaustive training twice a day, five times a week.
“I’m barely back from the tournament and now I’m already headed to training. That’s the life of an athlete,” Mishchenko said.
Hours of training brought Mishchenko a successful debut. The girl from the city of Mariupol became the vice world champion in the under-65 kilogram category in Low Kick. As if debuting in this tough ring discipline wasn’t taxing enough, before the start of the competition, she had to fight her own body—to stay within the under-65 weight category. The strong-willed Mishchenko managed to lose half a kilogram in less than an hour.
“We arrived at ten in the evening and were waiting for us. And then they waited, as she went with a jumping rope and did weight-loss exercises, and literally dumped 500 grams within forty minutes,” Coach Ruslan Osipov said.
At the World Championship, Mishchenko defeated rivals from Australia and Turkey. But in the final, she lost to an athlete from Croatia. When everything was over the Ukrainian kickboxer couldn’t hold back her tears.
“I was a little upset because I realized how close I was to victory, and I was aware that in this fight I gave my 100 percent. And when I saw them raising my opponent’s hand, and not mine, of course, I was upset because I wanted to become a champion and was setting my sights on the victory,” Mishchenko said.
Mishchenko was the only member of the Ukrainian women’s team to bring a medal from the World Championship. Today, her goal is to do one better. And Mishchenko’s fight for gold begins right now.
In total, at the World Kickboxing Championship, Ukrainian athletes won nine medals.