Russian biathlon, from the point of view of the fans, has long turned into a torment – only a lover of specific pleasures can watch the performances of domestic athletes, while enjoying it.
Lucky, not lucky …
Theoretically, the 2021 World Cup could still become relatively decent for the Russian national team: if the team wins at least one medal in the four remaining races, this will allow us to say that everything is not so bad. And if suddenly there are two of them, then they will start talking about extraordinary success. But first, the Russians winning a medal will be akin to a miracle. And secondly, even if a miracle happens, it will not change the main thing – the Russian national team has once again come up absolutely not ready for the World Cup.
In most of the races that have already taken place, the bulk of the athletes played the role of extras. Arguments in the style of “if only” and “if only” are in favor of the poor. In fact, the Russians’ struggle for medals was purely virtual and ended long before the finish line.
The best result of the men’s team at the World Cup so far was shown by a 22-year-old Karim Khalili, who took sixth place in the individual 20 km race.
The young athlete really performed with dignity (although, it should be noted, his peers from the same Norway are already fighting for medals with might and main), but the irony is that he should not have started at all. A place in the squad was vacated after Eduard Latypovnow considered the leader of the men’s team, decided to skip this race.
Wildlings, White Walkers, and Other Officials
Thus, the best result of the Russians is, in fact, luck. One gets the impression that the coaching staff quite vaguely understands who is ready for what and what is capable of.
Actually, this is not an impression, but reality: the head coach of the men’s team Yuri Kaminsky admitted that the majority of athletes, including the most titled Russian athlete at the moment Alexandra Loginovaare preparing according to their plans with their coaches. Kaminsky found himself in a situation where, being responsible for the result, he is actually unable to influence it.
For some, this state of affairs is wild, but in Russian biathlon it has long been the norm. It is a kind of “Game of Thrones” with its bastards, wildlings, white walkers and regular “red weddings”. The number of warring clans gets bigger, the worse the results. There is no talk of any unity and work for a common result. Titled veterans after each race appear in the press with devastating interviews, criticizing the current leadership of the federation, as well as the coaching staff. At the same time, critics are modestly silent that when their own protégés were at the helm, the situation was no better.
The girl who is “uncomfortable”
Start of the Russian duet with Latypov and Evgenia Pavlova in the so-called single mixed became another demonstration of helplessness. Latypov for the sake of this race received an additional day of rest, but it did not help from the word at all.
Since the Russians, especially Pavlova, do not differ in outstanding speed, it was initially clear that the hope for success lies in accurate shooting. But in fact, our tandem shot just disgusting. No one but the Russians in the top twenty used a total of 12 additional rounds. And Latypov also managed to break a stick at a distance. At the end of the race, Pavlova expectedly fizzled out, and as a result, the Russians came to the finish line 11th. And somehow I don’t really want to swear, because you gradually get used to that.
In 2019, Evgenia Pavlova was recognized as the “Rookie of the Year”. But today, frankly speaking, it seems that in her face we did not get a person capable of fighting for high places. Because her interview is definitely better than her results. In December 2020, having taken 44th place in the next race at the World Cup stage, Pavlova said: “I cannot explain, it already comes to tears, I don’t understand … I came to the team, I became uncomfortable – I don’t I know why. ”
Having failed the single mixed at the World Championships, Pavlova pleased with the following statement, quoted by the Championship portal: “I have already let go of the situation, since I am not able to change anything. We flew with this world championship in preparation, by location, by location. It remains only to run the race, give all the best, then go down and go home, take a break and fight on. “
Can’t you catch up with Estonia?
The feeling that an amateur athlete is speaking, and not a professional who is part of the Russian national team. While the fan is still hoping for something, the athlete “has already let go of the situation.”
In general, when someone in elite sports starts talking about comfort, it sounds very strange. Big sport is not physical education, it is overcoming oneself, often exceeding one’s own capabilities in order to achieve a result. And if you are not ready for this, then it is better to just change the type of activity.
One could say: well, a young girl cannot cope with her nerves, with experience everything will work out. But Pavlova is already 27 years old, this is the time when you need to achieve something in sports, and not talk about the comfort or mistakes of coaches in preparation.
And what kind of coaching mistakes can we talk about if the athlete runs slower than the representative of Estonia?