The fifth annual Russian Championship of Indoor Football Among Doctors took place last month in St Petersburg. Contending for the title were teams of qualified M.D.’s from different regions of the country: Moscow, the Astrakhan Region, the Komi Republic, the Stavropol Territory, the Kirov Region and others.
Alumni and teachers from St Petersburg University played for two teams in two different age categories, and both of them took medals.
The Endomed team took second place in the ‘Above 35’ category, and the Sokolov Memorial Hospital No. 122 team copped first place in the ‘No Age Limit’ category. Both of the teams from our city were led by thoracic surgeon Evgeny Zinchenko, a graduate of the University, and Vadim Pishchik, who is a professor at the University, the main external expert on thoracic surgery for the St Petersburg City Government Committee of Public Health and Head of the Thoracic Surgery Centre at Sokolov Memorial Hospital No. 122.
Piotr Yablonsky, Honorary Chairman of the Organising Committee and Dean of the University’s Medical Faculty, kicked the ceremonial first ball to mark the start of the Russian Championship of Indoor Football Among Doctors.
photograph: Ekaterina Vasilyeva
During the course of the tournament’s group stage, the doctors from St Petersburg beat medical teams representing the Kirov and Tver Regions, the Stavropol Territory and the Astrakhan Region.
In the bid for the top places in the ‘Above 35’ category, much was decided by an unexpected turn of events in the semi-final match. “The team from St Petersburg managed to even the score in the match with their counterparts from the capital only during the closing seconds with a long-range kick, and then they went on to win in a penalty shootout,” the team’s captain Evgeny Zinchenko recounted. “Such matches can trigger a storm of emotions and vicarious involvement among both the spectators and the players.”
All of the matches were played at a high level of prowess, and in the spirit of an all-out but honest fight.
Thoracic surgeon Evgeny Zinchenko, a graduate of St Petersburg University
In the final match, the team from St Petersburg outplayed the Moscow medical team and won by a score of 3-1. In so doing, the group of doctors from the Capital of the North became two-time champions of Russia (they won their first title in Arkhangelsk two years ago, in 2017). Anton Boychenko, a senior lecturer at St Petersburg University, was recognised as the best goalkeeper in the ‘Above 35’ category.
The top players in the tournament will form the backbone of the Russian Doctors’ National Indoor Football Team, which will represent the country in the annual World Indoor Football Championship and in the Olympics.