Vadim Ivanov: “Our chances to win at the European Championships are very high”

Russian national Taekwondo team will go to Kazan where European Championships will take place from 10 to 13 May. The head coach of our team Vadim Ivanov in interview told about value of this tournament in the light of preparation for Games-2020, the main rivals in fight for a victory in the overall standings, and also explained why in structure there are no Olympic prize-winners Alexey Denisenko and Anastasia Baryshnikova.

– Alexey Denisenko didn’t pass selection on the European championship. The same fate befell the three-time national champion Karina Zhdanov, who, however, like Denisenko, is considered as a candidate for participation in the Olympic games in Tokyo. As for the bronze prize-winner of the Olympic games-2012 Anastasia Baryshnikova, she married Denisenko, in February gave birth to a son and decided to finish her sports career.

– The official application of the Russian team included 32 athletes-18 men and 14 women. Why so many?

– Two years ago, the European Union Taekwondo decided to hold a tournament called the Cup of the President of the world Federation. The winners of this tournament with g-2 rating receive personal tickets to the European championship. The competitions were held in Athens just the other day – from 25 to 29 April, and according to their results our athletes received an additional 16 quotas. Other countries have also increased the number of participants, but we are leaders in this regard.

– Can we say that the European championship in Kazan is the main start of the season?

– For part of athletes-Yes. In fact, winning it the prestigious. But if we consider the tournament in the context of the Olympic games, it is only one of the important stages. The European championship is given the G-4 level, as well as the Grand Prix series tournaments, which will be four more this season. The winners receive 40 rating points. In addition, the Grand Prix final will be held, which has the status of G-8. The one who took the first place in it will add 80 points to the Olympic selection.

– In December, the European championship in four Olympic weight categories (both men and women) was held in Sofia. Russia won seven gold medals out of eight possible. But will we compare that tournament with the upcoming one?

– Kazan’s status is higher. In addition, the competition in Sofia took place two days after the Grand Prix tournament in côte d’ivoire, and not all the leading athletes participated in them.

– At the beginning of the year you said about the task to win in Kazan team standings. What are the chances and who are the main rivals?

– The chances are quite high. Moreover, the tournament is held in our country. The most obvious rivals are great Britain, Spain, Turkey, Croatia. But we cannot exclude others. The forecasts are complicated by the fact that somewhere the men’s team is stronger, somewhere the women’s.

The Russian team was preparing for the European championship on the basis of Bronnitsy in the following composition:

Men: Dmitry Pastukhov, Mohammed Gagiev (54 kg), Mikhail Artamonov, Valeriy Shimanov (to 58 kg), Bolat Saldino, Pavel Andrienko (to 63 kg), Vyacheslav Minin, Sarmat Zakaev, Boris Krasnov (up to 68 kg), Dmitriy Artyukhov (to 74 kg), Maxim Khramtsov, Andrei Zemledeltsev (up to 80 kg), Vladislav Larin, Rafael Kamalov, Gleb Zakharov (up to 87 kg), Roman Kuznetsov, Yury Kirichenko, Oleg Kuznetsov (over 87 kg).

Women: Maria Smirnova (to 46 kg), Svetlana Igumenova, Natalia Antipenko (to 49 kg), Tatiana Kudashova, Victoria Alexandrova (53 kg), Yekaterina Kim (to 57 kg), Yulia Turutina, Christina Prokudina (up to 62 kg), Pauline Khan, Julia Miyuts (to 67 kg), Arina Zhyvotkova (to 73 kg), Olga Ivanova, Ella Borisova, Olga Muzychka (over 73 kg).