Alexey Volkov: “Before the relay race at the Olympic Games in Sochi, I started training. He worked as he wanted.”

Alexey Volkov: “Before the relay race at the Olympic Games in Sochi, I started training.  He worked as he wanted.”

Winner of the Biathlon World Championship Alexey Volkov told that during the Sochi Olympics he started training on his own because he wanted to prepare for the relay.

In the individual race in Sochi, Volkov took 64th place with four penalties. In the relay race, together with Evgeny Ustyugov, Dmitry Malyshko and Anton Shipulin, he won a gold medal.

— From a psychological point of view, was it difficult the day before the relay?

“I just wanted to perform well.” I only competed in two races at the Olympic Games: individual and relay. You either take yours or you’re left with nothing – that’s the attitude I came out with.

— Is it true that before the relay, Shipulin, Malyshko, Ustyugov decided who would take part in the relay: you or Garanichev?

— Yes, the guys had the choice to choose who they would like to race with. They trusted me, for which I thank them very much. And a low salute.

— Garanichev wasn’t offended?

“I didn’t ask, but from the way we communicated later, I didn’t notice any resentment on his part that we were enemies to him.” It was a collective choice. Well, if the coaches gave the team a choice, then what can be offended? If one person decided that, then yes. And here is democracy (laughs). When the guys made their choice, they asked me: “Lech, how are you, ready?” I answered in the affirmative, which motivated me even more.

— Are you satisfied with how you completed your stage?

— I would give it a C, or a C plus. I didn’t work the turn as planned. And on the track, the coaches held me back for two laps and said, “Don’t drive me. And when I went to the third one, they shouted at me again: “Don’t lead me. In turn, I thought: “How can I not drive?!” “If everything is already done, the baton will soon be passed.” Then I finally turned on and made up a lot of the gap. Moved to third. My personal opinion: the acceptable lag during the first stage is 15 seconds. If it’s more, you don’t have to include this step as an asset. I had 16.1 seconds. They told me everything was fine, but I realized I could do a lot better.

– Why did the coaches say that?

— The track was difficult and no one knew how much it affected me. After the individual race I started doing all the preparation myself.

— Without coaches?

– Yes. I realized that my individual race was a failure. The only option to get through the Games was to take part in the relay, so I approached it as I saw fit.

— Did the coaches react well?

“Lopukhov was not strongly against it,” Volkov told .

Currently, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) is considering an appeal in the Ustyugov case. If the former biathlete is not cleared of doping charges, the result of the Russian team in the Sochi relay will be canceled and Ustyugov will also lose the gold in the mass start and bronze in the relay, won at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.

Volkov finished his sports career in 2020. He also won the 2017 World Championships.

Source : MatchTV

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