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After the news from the European negotiations, gives the first interviews with Sergey Kushchenko and Wolfgang Pichler and reminds, that the full list of the candidates for the coaching staff of the Russian team will be published after the RBU Executive Board meeting on the April, 29th.

Wednesday, April 27, a 56–years old German Wolfgang Pichler, a former head of the Swedish team, has signed a contract with the Russian Biathlon Union on the work with the national women squad for the next 3 years. Pichler is the first foreign coach in the history of the Russian biathlon.

«We had started the negotiation process with Wolfgang Pichler right after the World Championship in Khanty-Mansiysk,» said a CEO of the Russian Biathlon Union Sergey Kushchenko. «We have quickly reached a mutual understanding. Initially we have talked with Pichler about the long-term contract, as we need a great expert till Sochi. That was a hard decision for Wolfgang to make, and also a bold step for the RBU team. But this solution has come from the present reality. We need the best coaches — strong personalities, who are capable of taking the responsibility».

Following Kushchenko Wolfgang Pichler has shared his thoughts with

«I believe, the Russian team has a huge potential, which we will start to reveal together in the nearest future,» said Pichler. «I'm looking forward to start working with my new team. It's already planed, that we will have a first training camp in the middle of May. But before that together with the coaches we should build a new team — evaluate tremendous number of the candidate members for the national team.»

«Last season wasn't the best for the Russian team. In order to finish the next season with a cheerful mood, we should work with the redoubled energy. I can assure you, that I will do my best to achieve that result. We will strive to take a maximum number of medals. Judging from the girls' positions in the World Cup we will be able to evaluate the quality of the work done,» comments Pichler.

The final summary of the biathlon season and list of the candidates for the coaching staff will be presented on the April, 29th during the RBU Executive Board meeting. has examined the decisions making process.

April, 29th — is a deadline for the decision on the coaching staff specified by the two key organizations. The Russian Biathlon Union and the Ministry of Sport, Tourism and Youth Policy have announced, they will reveal the names of the coaches for the next season. The coincidence is not accidental — the RBU and the Ministry of Sport had analyzed the past season simultaneously.

First strokes in the past season's summary were made before it's official closing. A leading group of the Russian coaches, headed by the RBU CEO Sergey Kushchenko met on the Council on the April, 29th during the Russian Championship in Tyumen. Without any complaints or blames members of the meeting looked into the causes of the last season's failures and filled in the special forms. Every participant nominated the possible candidatures for the national team coaches. Gathered opinions were converted into the short list and would be introduced on the RBU Executive Board meeting.

The Ministry of Sport analyzed the results of the season with the help of the Expert Council. April, 13th the members of the Expert Council reviewed the biathlon coaches' report and concluded — the report was acknowledged as one of the most professional, but the results of the season unsatisfactory. An experts' opinion and the short list of the candidate-coaches were announced to the Ministry of Sport last Monday. After that the Ministry set the final date for the approval of the new coaching staff — April, 29th.

Both — the RBU and the Ministry of Sport work extremely efficiently and coordinated. Heads of the two organizations set the task to analyze the past season and announce a new Russian coaching staff within a month. The priorities in the election are clear — a strong, credible and charismatic professionals who are able to take responsibility and long-term commitment. One authoritative and charismatic specialist is already known. Who is next?

RBU Media Office