Andrey Konokotin: ″242 Russian athletes could take part in the II European games″

The Russian Olympic team continues to prepare for the 2nd European Games, which will be held from 21 to 30 June in Minsk. 100 days before the start of the competition, Andrei Konokotin, Director of Sports and Head of the Main Directorate for ensuring participation in Olympic sports events of ROC, spoke to the ROC Information Service.

– Compared to the 1st European Games in Baku, the composition of the Russian delegation will be smaller. This is due to the reduced program of the European Games. In particular, water polo, volleyball (beach and classic), swimming, diving, synchronized swimming, triathlon, fencing and taekwondo have been excluded. And as for cycling, medals will be awarded only in two disciplines (road racing and track) instead of three. According to preliminary data, 242 athletes could take part in competitions. The final composition of the team will be approved in June at a meeting of the ROC Executive Committee.

– Will the Russian team perform in every program?

– Yes, including athletics. Several athletes have already been approved by the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF). Moreover, in Minsk, athletes will be full members of the Russian Olympic team, as well as representatives of other sports.

– Competitions in which disciplines will be qualifying ones for the Olympic Games in Tokyo?

– Vouchers for the 2020 Games will be given to winners in shooting, table tennis, archery and karate contests. Rating points will be used in athletics, badminton, boxing, cycling and judo.

– What tasks will be assigned to the Russian team? Will Baku-2015 (164 medals, 79 of them gold) become a reference point?

– We always have one task ahead – to win. However, it is already clear that we will not get as many awards as in the 1st European Games. 30 sports were represented in Baku, now only 21 remain.

– It is generally agreed that the capital of Azerbaijan in 2015 set a very high standard in terms of organizing competitions. What awaits us in Minsk?

– The Organizing Committee of Minsk-2019 is made up of very experienced specialists who worked at the Winter Olympics in Sochi and Pyeongchang, as well as at the 1st European Games in Baku. Also, Minsk hosted the Ice Hockey World Championship in 2014. In short, the experience of the organizers is more than enough and I have no doubt that the Games will be held at the highest level.

– How is the Russian Olympic Committee preparing for the European Games?

– The schedule of the main organizational events has been approved and work is being carried out in accordance with it. At the moment we are solving issues related to the organization of air travel, equipment, excess baggage delivery, registration of accreditations and application forms, accommodation for athletes in the Olympic village, production of souvenir and award merchandise, as well as information materials. We are paying special attention to the assistance provided to All-Russian sports federations, whose athletes will try to claim victories in Minsk.

– What federations require intensive work?

– We try to balance cooperation with all the sports federations. At the moment, we are holding working meetings which will pave the way for creating schedules for the final stage of preparation, air travel and equipment supply. This will resolve all the main issues of ensuring the participation of the Russian Olympic team in the 2nd European Games.

– How will the Russian Olympic team get to Minsk?

– Our athletes will go to the capital of Belarus on regular scheduled flights of our General Partner and the Official Carrier of the Russian Olympic team PJSC Aeroflot.