IPC Biathlon and Cross-Country SkiingWorld Championships 2011

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    July 2020
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Sergey Shilov: The awards will remain as well as pleasant memories

Russian team gold in relay became one more goodpiece of news for the supporters.  We discussed the race and some other things with the team captain Sergey Shilov.

What can you say about the work performed by the Russian team during the today’s relay? Was it difficult to fight with the rivals?

We had some variants of team composition. Keeping in mind the weather conditions and some other things our coaches chose the ones, who in their opinion could cope with the track best.  The athletes from different categories took part in the relay and it was taken into the account while composing the team. My task was not to loose more than 2.5 minutes on the first stage in order to let my teammates move forward. Obviously the results depended on each of us and I’m satisfied with them. The main rivals in the race were the Ukrainian and Norwegian teams. We were ready for it and tried to do everything to get gold.

Did the weather help you to cope with the track successfully or vice versa?

The weather conditions complicated the race. On the last stages my teammates were absolutely exhausted.

Do you think that this Championships is different from the other ones? If yes, in what aspects?

It’s rather difficult to judge, but the organization level is at least not lower than the other Championships had. I would say that this is the level of Paralympic games. Despite the weather, the track is always in a good condition; stadium workers react pretty quickly and do the track very comfortable for the athletes. The representatives of sport elite came in Khanty-Mansiysk and it characterizes it from the best side.

As a participant of the International Paralympic Sport Forum, what can you say about its results?

There were some very important for sitting athletes questions discussed on the forum. Some adjustments were made in the regulations of athlete technical equipment. It’s necessary that we could compete with our own strength, not because the equipments are modernized. On the forum we discussed the characteristics, which the equipment should have, because the athletes compete in different categories; using right equipment can help them speed up. We were also talking about the decreasing of targets in size or making the distance longer, but now we don’t have enough statistics to solve the problem. The majority of the nations, which participated in the forum, supported our proposal to include the 7.5 km cross-country skiing into the Sochi Paralympic Games program.  Besides, we decided to try out the new format of the biathlon distances and we will do it at the next competitions.

How do you prepare for the final race? What are the results you expect?

I won’t predict any results, because it’s quite difficult to do in biathlon. A lot of things depend on the weather, because the snow becomes softer and we’ll have to adjust to it. Personally I, as well as a lot of other athletes, prefer the hard snow, but anyway I’m not going to give up. Tomorrow we will fight!

What do you think about separating biathlon and cross-country skiing into two different competitions, because it’s rather difficult to have them together?

I don’t find it necessary. The most biathletes also take part in cross-country skiing and vice versa. Even if somebody specializes in one discipline it doesn’t mean that he is worse in another one. Usually the athletes are successful in both arts. If we separate them the number of participants will become less.

Who from the team became the hero of the Championships?

All the guys justified the hopes and ones, from whom we expected the medals, got them. The team managed to show a very good level at the Championships, but it’s not a surprise for me. Everyone was well-prepared and they showed their class. I can say that our team can show very good results in Sochi. And now we have the opportunity to develop our potential.

Tomorrow is the last competition day. With what feelings and thoughts will you come home?

The Championships became really spring. Not only weather, but also the atmosphere created by people made me glad. By the way, it was not a surprise for me, since it’s not the first time when I’m in Khanty-Mansiysk; I expected a warm welcome. I’m very thankful to the people who were coming to the stadium in order to support us. It’s always more pleasant to run, when there are people on the stadium and there were lots of them at the competitions. Probably there were people with physical disabilities and we were inspiring them. The awards from the championships will remain as well as pleasant memories.

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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