Trouble is the Russian biathlon: “the coaches fully dilute talented children, do not protect”

Lately disappoint the Russian fans performances of not only the football team and the biathlon team of our country. Oddly enough, one of my favorite sports is gradually becoming spectators in Russia a big disappointment. Athletes that were recently in the leading group, losing positions, and the team as a whole is coming to the end of the season with a record — with only two gold medals at the world Cup and seven podium positions in total. One of the victories brought Russia’s Anton Shipulin in Kontiolahti and the second Maxim Tsvetkov in Tyumen.


photo: AP

Maxim Tsvetkov (in the center).

What is happening to our biathlon? This is what we asked two-time Olympic champion Dmitry Vasilyev.

— Most likely, athletes are so “trained”. And the first questions are always to coach: what went wrong and why the results every year worse and worse? There are organizational problems. In the Union of biathletes of Russia committed serious errors that resulted in the imbalance of the whole situation. You can’t blame someone one. It is common, I would say, a command error. We had to sit down to analyze the past four years (Olympic cycle. — Ed.) and analyze what was done wrong. No charges, during operation. To blame someone is easier. What happened, already happened. We have to think how to act in the future to avoid such mistakes and record results.

— What are these mistakes?

— All managerial aspects is necessary to understand the bones. Typically the dark side always lie in the details. These details need to know, and only then to draw final conclusions.

— If to speak about faceted personalities, how do you evaluate the performance of Maxim Tsvetkov in Tyumen?

— The audience had from his victories the charge of positive emotions, and that they have lost faith in the beauty and the invincibility of the Russian biathlon. Maxim managed to debunk this thesis. Honor and praise him, he is done! Fans had an easy joy.

— The result of maxima in Tyumen — only episode or is there hope for the future?

Maxime is champion of the world. His abilities no doubt. Another thing is that the form of the whole team did not expect such a result. He proved that our team has not collapsed. His victory was unexpected, not planned. I think, he did not expect it, but it was able to confirm his status as one of the strongest biathletes in the world.

— Not for the first season is very uneven is Anton Shipulin. What is the reason for its instability?

— I think the problem is a bunch of “athletic trainer”. This is my subjective opinion, but the tandem they have is not the best. Remember, what was the race four years ago. Now the recourse is obvious: worse and worse from season to season. He has acted as a stepping stone on the pulse of the season 2014/2015. In 2017, he acted more or less normally, and this year was not strong enough. No need to look for something better. You know, the best is the enemy of the good. Need good, continue to return.

— That prevents to move to another coach?

Nothing. The Olympic season behind. Now all sit down at the negotiating table and will work together to think what to do next, what plan to work.

— Whether the threat that Anton on the wave of negativity decides to retire?

— It’s up to him. Of course, now the negative emotions prevail. With the athlete in such moments we need to talk, to find good arguments and explain: a failure periods happen at all. But Anton won, and was in the prizes. Overlapped and non-admission to the Olympic games. Disaster no no, the potential has not been exhausted, it is enormous. You just have to make adjustments in training and to move on.

— Adding fuel to the fire dominating Martin Fourcade. He again suspected of Shipulin in doping. Relationship athletes have long ceased to be smooth. How to respond to such a statement?

— When people do not have specific facts, but someone being accused of something, I advise them to look at themselves in the mirror. Maybe you’ll see something unexpected for yourself. Such talk is a good way to make money, to attract the attention of sponsors. Money and PR is never enough. He uses his high awareness and popularity.

— Please refer to the results of Russia in the women’s biathlon. What is wrong with athletes? Or is it again some kind of system error?

— The situation here is complicated. The reserve is prepared is not accurate enough to be added to the national team. Yes, this is a systemic problem. Children’s trainers squeeze all of the students to complete the program, win every possible award in the world championship, of the universe, galaxies and so on… through to the adult team they’ve already squeezed like a lemon. But during this period, the coaches get all the medals, awards, salaries, bonuses… this should be a serious deal Children’s coaches now do not think, in what condition and form of transfer charges in adult sports. They don’t want to wait for the result. After all, no guarantee of League title no. Then there are coaches completely emasculate talented children, who should be protected. But our opponents — cherish: and the Germans, and the Norwegians… and men and women occurs. The women’s team is a vivid example of this. We have a lot of talented girls. But for the adult team they should be let down gently without afterburner. That’s the thing to break and change.

How to solve this problem? To change the leadership of the RBU?

— It is necessary to act at the legislative level. To prepare and to leave the initiative to the state Duma. Because this problem is not only in biathlon — Russian sports in General. Certain to take, all emasculated. Coaches solve their local problems.

— There background something hopeful in biathlon in our country?

— Russia does not fail talents. Good athletes there, but you need to change the system selection. No need to chase kids at the world championship, it is no use to them. Nothing to do there! I would have forbidden to go there. For children this is a huge stress. They are not yet formed, not only they know how. And so everywhere, just biathlon — our home diocese, so about it and speak.

Coaches be former servicemen, they charge our Golden youth allowance. It is no good! Children should work only with experienced professionals.

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