The annual Champions Ball has been held at St Petersburg University. It featured the year-end 2019 celebration in honour of the best university athletes. 

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University students who are members of the national teams of Russia competed for the title of the best athlete in 2019. Among them were: Ekaterina Ziuzina, a master of sports in sailing; Matvei Minin, a master of sports in tennis; Kirill Goriachev, a master of sports in rowing; Denis Semikov, a candidate master of sports in rugby; as well as Magomed Eldarov, a master of sports in wrestling.

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St Petersburg University students compete in 29 sports. They participate in: matches of the Association of Student Basketball (ASB); the National Student Football League (NSFL); the Student Rowing League (SRL); and the European Youth Basketball League (EYBL). Eight students of the University are members of the national teams of the Russian Federation.

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An open vote for the best athlete took place on the VKontakte page of the Sports Department of St Petersburg University. Denis Semikov, a bachelor student in Human Resource Management, was first in the voting and became athlete of the year. Denis is certain that the secret of his success is in helping his nearest and dearest. ‘The strong support of my friends and relatives motivates me to achieve top scores,’ said the athlete.

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Among those who brought glory to the University in 2019 are Artem Nabiullin, a student at the University College, and Ekaterina Ziuzina, a future sociologist. Artem Nabiullin won the 2019 Winter Universiade in Krasnoyarsk in freestyle events; and Ekaterina Ziuzina won a licence for Russia to compete in sailing at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

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The Champions Ball saw the presentation of the model of the common emblem for all student sports teams of St Petersburg University with the motto ‘We are all in the same boat’. Also, the festival saw the presentation of the national team mascot – an owl in athletic apparel with a square academic cap on its head. The participants of the event settled on the name for the mascot: it was called Boris.

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