Alexander Zhukov: “In anticipation of the Rio de Janeiro Games I am worried about the situation in team sports”

After the ROC Executive Committee meeting Alexander Zhukov gave a press point, in which ROC President answered questions from journalists. The ROC Information Service quotes Alexander Zhukov President’s key statements.

(on the participation of the Russian team in the XXXI Olympic Games)

On August 5, 2015 in Rio de Janeiro the International Olympic Committee handed the Russian Olympic team the invitation to participate in the XXXI Olympic Games. Today I signed the acceptance of invitation that will be sent to the IOC. Today  we already have 174 Olympic licenses. Based on the results of this year’s performances of our athletes at the international competitions, according to experts, the Russian team will consist of 420 to 450 athletes. Of course, it depends on what athletes will qualify and earn Olympic licenses. The overall composition of our sports delegation will consist of about seven hundred members.

(on the training programme for the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games)

At today’s Executive Committee meeting we discussed how the Olympic training programme is being implemented. Following the discussion, members of the ROC Executive Committee decided to increase funding for the Rio Olympic training programme by nearly 300 million rubles because a lot of requests have been received from the Russian sports federations, most of which are usually satisfied.

In addition, analyzing information from different sources, we understand what is the best way to prepare for the Games in Brazil at the final stage. Information is obtained as a result of test competitions held in Brazil. Doctors and scientists undertook comprehensive analysis on this subject.

(on the sports that cause anxiety in anticipation of the Games)

The situation in team sports is alarming. Today it is clear that our football, field hockey and, unfortunately, both basketball teams will not perform at the Olympic Games in Rio did.

Certain anxiety is caused by the situation in the ‘major sport’ – athletics, in which most Olympic medals are contested. The results of the Russian national team at the of the World Cup were not too pleasant for us. However, a lot of our outstanding athletes who did not perform at the World Championships this year, will be back on track by the start of the Olympic season and will compete for Olympic licenses. I hope that they also have chances to become Olympic medalists at the XXXI Games.

At the World  Aquatics Championships in Kazan we expected better results from our swimmers. Unfortunately, they managed to win only one gold medal. And nevertheless, we think that our young athletes, who have successfully performed at the European Games in Baku and at the youth competitions, next year will be among the best swimmers.

(on the prospects and Olympic hopes)

Russian volleyball teams retain a good chance to qualify for the Games in Rio. Despite the fact that they have not yet earned any Olympic licenses, their prospects are very good. Last week our women’s volleyball team defended the European title and once again proved to be one of the strongest in the world.

Russian Wrestling Federation is amongst those successful ones. The World Championships in Las Vegas, worked out great for our team. Athletes of the National Fencing Team are performing great. They won four gold medals at the World Championships. Also traditionally our synchronized swimmers and rhythmic gymnasts win a lot of medals.

A few more important World Championships will be held before the end of the year, including Boxing and Artistic Gymnastics. Following the results of all World Championships held so far this season our team is among the top three in the  unofficial overall team standings. We have not discussed our medal Plan for the Brazil Olympic Games today. We paid more attention to how things are in summer sports at the end of this season. However, according to the plan outlined in the National Sports Development Programme, the Russian team has to get into the top three in the unofficial overall team standings at the end of the Olympic Games in Rio.

(on the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games)

The training programme for the PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games also wasn’t overlooked. Everything is going according to plan. Members of the ROC Executive Committee had approved an extended list of athletes of the Russian team, preparing for the Winter Games. It includes 718 candidates. It is understood that this list is preliminary and extended, but athletes on this list receive particular attention.