– The season is about to start. For the first time in a long time, there will be no Russian speed skating championship in Kolomna. Why did they make such a decision?
— We have two new indoor rinks. The one in Irkutsk, which has already hosted the national championships, is very popular with our athletes, and the Kemerovo ice rink will host the Russian championship for the first time. Before the New Year, we will organize a championship there on separate distances, and before that, test events.
I was at the ice rink in Irkutsk and Kemerovo. When I met the governor of Kemerovo, at that time the ice had not yet flooded, but I was assured that the rink would be ready for such an important event as the national championship. We try to broaden the geography of the competition, especially when there are all the conditions.
– The structure of the current skating schedule is unusual compared to the regular seasons.
– Previously, the season was built entirely under the international calendar and under the national team. From now on, there will be no more international departures, so the schedule has been slightly modified. The season is really experimental, we’ll see how it goes. This also applies to training, whether centralized or local.
– On the eve of a season without international departures, the most frequent questions from federation leaders relate to prize money. Will they be at your competitions or are the guys just racing for medals?
– After the first competitions we will reveal all the details, but for now I can say that our main task is to keep the strongest athletes and train the reserve. It is clear that without an international calendar, athletes will not have the opportunity to earn as much as before. On our side, we will try to partially solve the financial question. So we will organize Russian championships, All-Russian competitions, TFR cups, not just for medals.
– If we return to the task of “preserve the strongest”. Several first-team athletes went on maternity leave, Olga Fatkulina took a one-year break. How was his decision received?
– Olga decided to jump this season, I haven’t spoken to her yet – I spoke with the coach, the leadership of the Chelyabinsk Federation. I don’t see anything wrong with that. Such a deserved athlete as Olga has the right to take a break for a restart. According to my information, Fatkulina does not plan to end her career.
– Did you tell Natalya Voronina about your return after the birth of a child?
– I haven’t had time to communicate with everyone yet, although I plan to do it regularly – to meet teams, communicate with athletes. I have already come to short track training in the groups of Vladimir Grigoriev in Novogorsk and Andrey Maksimov in Ufa. In Minsk, I visited Yevgeny Lalenkov’s training group.
— How is the short track in the off-season? Did you have the idea to invite Victor Ahn?
– He’s not in Russia. There is no direct contact with him yet. The only thing we want to try in short track this season is to entrust the junior team to Yevgeny Kazulin. We plan to hold the first collection in Novogorsk in November this year.
– Is there any news of the athletes who flew to China?
– We only have Danila Semerikov there. Daniil Aldoshkin and Elizaveta Golubeva planned to go there, but decided to continue training in the national team and continue training in the group of Viktor Aleksandrovich Sivkov.
– Skaters surprised by the number of requests to change sport citizenship. Do you already have such cases?
– We do not have any requests yet, and even such conversations are not carried out.
– Just the other day, another ISU council took place. Are there any movements?
“Unfortunately, we have not heard anything positive about the admission of Russian and Belarusian athletes to the ISU as a result of this meeting. But, for example, our representatives are planning to attend a seminar in Amsterdam, and no one refuses to do so.
As always, you have to believe in the best. I hope the best will come soon and that next season we will feel differently and be full players in the international process again. In any case, I really want to believe it.
Indeed, there is no progress yet, but I hope for the good sense of our international sports officials.
— While we are confined, what do you intend to do to develop the attractiveness of competitions on the internal calendar? A video ad for the season was recently released which intrigued many.
– I would even ask the question more broadly here – we need a lot of work to increase the attractiveness of our sports: speed skating and short track. Yes, the videos have been well received, they have a good number of views – not huge, nothing to brag about, we are at the very beginning of the journey. Our sports need to be presented to a wider audience than just speed skating and short track fans. It is our task.
– You have Artem Arefiev actively blogging. Ready to join the shoot?
— I have a positive attitude towards the idea of Artyom. I would like more athletes to be involved in such projects.
– Will you skate to participate in such a project?
I don’t think anyone cares (laughs). And so, in general, it’s easy!
– Recently you were on Elbrus. Is there a chance of seeing a mid-mountain ice rink in Russia in the years to come?
– We first went to the Chechen Republic with representatives of winter sports, saw two places in the suburbs of Grozny at an altitude of 1900 m. A few weeks later we flew to Kabardino-Balkaria, to Terskol, to see the site at an altitude of 2200 m there is a multidisciplinary base for the training of Russian athletes, this was also discussed at the Economic Forum in ballast.
The first attempts to organize a sports facility in the middle mountains took place in Itkol. There was even a skating rink, and championships and All-Union competitions were held. We talked about it with Valery Alekseevich Muratov – he took part in these competitions – and agreed that an indoor training rink should be built there, and we don’t need more. We discussed it with the leaders of the region and with the representatives of the Ministry of Sports. Skating, short track and hockey players could train on such a rink. Preliminary conversations with hockey communities.
– Are there proposals for multi-sport projects, possibly joint with figure skaters?
We discuss such ideas. We want to organize a big event on December 4 in VDNKh in honor of the International Day of Skating, which was created by the ISU. I want to actively promote running on single skates in order to involve young people, and not only young people, in our sport.
– You had a story with skeleton athlete Elena Nikitina this summer at training camp. Nobody else asked for speed skating?
Not yet, but we’ll wait and see. As international practice shows, roller skaters often come to skate. Unfortunately, this sport is not yet as popular in our country as in other countries where there are medalists of the Games who came out of rollerblading.
– If you sum up the results of the summer, what did you manage to do in your position?
– I haven’t made any trips in the region for two weeks. The geography of sport is vast. We are only at the beginning of the journey, there are many ideas, many things to do. We systematically approached the formation of teams, now we are just beginning to work calmly in a given direction.
Source : MatchTV
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