IPC Biathlon and Cross-Country SkiingWorld Championships 2011

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Ivan Goncharov: With these Championships Russia proved its ability to host the competitions of such a level

The Press-Center continues telling about the birthday athletes of the World Championships 2011. The bronze medalist Ivan Goncharov of Russia, who celebrated his 26th birthday in Khanty-Mansiysk, gave an exclusive interview to our correspondent.

You celebrate your 26th birthday in Khanty-Mansiysk. How did this day change your usual schedule?

- Yes, this day is really unusual for me – everybody congratulates me: family, friends and even athletes from other Paralympic teams. I thanked everyone with a cake for their attention (smiling).

What do you do besides sports?

- The last six months we spent training hard for the Championships, so I haven’t got time for anything else. I have only about 10 days between trainings to be with my family, sometimes I don’t even have time to do laundering.

How do you spend your spare time?

- Well, sports are only a part of my life. I also like playing guitar and drawing. Moreover, I have two badger-dogs: Moris and Richa. In Moskow, where I live, I like skiing with my friends, and when it is warm enough we go to the countryside. It’s a pity that I cannot be with my family as long as I wish. Besides, I have two brothers, a sister and a lot of nephews, and I see them even rarely. I miss them so much.

What do you expect from the World Championships 2011?

- The World Championships was only a dream, especially because this is my first podium place at the competitions of such a level.  When I got bronze, I was feeling excited standing at the medal ceremony shoulder to shoulder with my teammates. I was really proud of myself thinking: «How good am I». My family called and congratulated me, I was very pleased.

Are you planning to celebrate your victory?

- Actually not, but I was going to celebrate my birthday. What is more, I missed my brother’s and my girlfriend Margarita’s birthdays. I hope when I come home we will celebrate these dates all together!

What are your plans after the Championships?

-After Khanty-Mansiysk I have to go to Sochi for training camps. I do track-and-fields with my Moscow team; we have the competitions this year. The first marathon will be held on May 5 in Korea, and then we will go to Switzerland. My life is very active, but that is the point. For me sports are necessary as much as the air I breathe. Sometimes I want to go the trainings even when I have my spare time, after that I feel satisfied.

How do you appreciate the Khanty-Mansiysk preparatory level for the Championships?

- I like it, these competitions are the best I have ever participated in. I think many people here meet persons with physical disabilities for the first time, that’s why they might feel a bit uncomfortable. Actually, there’s nothing to worry about (laughing). Russia proves its ability to host the competitions of such a level, and I’m very glad of it.

Irina Gromova, the head coach of Russian national team, told about her athlete: «It is very interesting to work with Vanya. His sense of humour is enough for the whole team. And he is a very reliable person, he will never let us down. I’d like to wish him good health. If there is health, there will be medals. He was ill the great part of this season, that’s why his bronze is like gold for us».

«He’s very clever, polite and tactful. Vanya is an intellectual in sports! I think his best trait of character is that he prefers to get everything working hard!» – added Alexander Drozdovskyi, the serviceman of the Russian national team.

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Team standings
     
1 Russia 20 13 15 48
2 Ukraine 8 9 6 23
3 Norway 1 5 3 9
4 Canada 5 2 7
4 Poland 1 5 1 7
6 Germany 2 4 6
6 Belarus 1 2 2 5
8 Finland 4 4
8 Italy 2 1 3
10 France 1 1
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