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Sergey Kushchenko: “Russian biathlon infrastructure develops rapidly”

Before the official protocol of the 102nd IBU Executive Committee's meeting, which was held in South Korean Pyeongchang, reached the IBU's first vice-president, RBU's CEO Sergey Kushchenko and asked him about the major developments for the Russian biathlon. In the capital of the Olympic Games 2018 happened a lot — starting from the licensing of the new arenas and finishing with the dates of the two in a row world cups in Russia.

— Sergey, the Tyumen's «Zhemchuzhina Sibiri» was noticeable twice in the yesterday's news — first there was a decision concerning the transfer of the final training camp of the men's teams, followed by the news regarding an international licensing with an A category.

- «Zhemchuzhina Sibiri» deserved a high attention (smiles). You should have seen and heard how the IBU commission representatives spoke about the Tyumen arena, which their visited in September. This is true, in some aspects the complex not only meets the international criteria but even exceed them. It concerns first of all an infrastructure; however the committee's members were also fully satisfied with the track and the shooting range. The only remark that was made by the IBU is the request to increase the number of the commentators' cabins and services' boxes. All these questions are easy to solve and they are all have been already agreed. Everybody is satisfied with the work made. The IBU is glad to have one more biathlon arena. The RBU congratulates Tyumen with the deserved successful grade and the top international licensing for the biathlon complexes.

— Did the complex in Kamchatka have claims on the highest grade?

— Fatianov's complex had the claims on the B license and got it. It is very important achievement for us. Kamchatka hosts the major international competitions for three years in a row and finally got the right to host the official IBU starts. During the Executive Committee's meeting almost everybody noticed that the Russian biathlon infrastructure develops rapidly.

— Does it mean that there will be more of biathlon in Russia? I mean the world cups and IBU cups?

— In the next two seasons we will have more of them. This season is a break for us. Starting from the next year the international starts will be hold in Russia one after another. In September 2012 Ufa will host the summer world championship. Starting from January the series of the key winter competitions will start in Russia — on January 10–13, 2013 the IBU cup will take place in Ostrov, on March 4–10 the pre-Olympic week in Sochi, after which everybody will travel to Khanty-Mansiysk for a world cup. All the dates of the competitions in Russia were determined during the meeting. During the pre-Olympic season we will set the record — minimum four of the official international starts from the IBU calendar.

— If we consider the «Champions' race» and the Fatianov's Memorial in Kamchatka it will be even six. We do not have plans to cancel these competitions?

— Of course not. But one needs to understand that these competitions more depend on the organizing committees. We introduced both of the requests for the next season and both of them were confirmed. Some work on the «Champions' race» has already been done. As for the Fatianov's memorial — there is still no official documents from the organizing committee. We can say that we got the right to organize in advance, taking into account the successful experience of the past three years.

— Does IBU follow the tempo of the main Olympic construction site?

— Yes, moreover it participates. The IBU representatives have already made several inspections of the Sochi's track together with a technical team of the RBU, the Sochi organization committee and the main organizations, which work on construction. They all have a constant communication. This winter — February 2–6 — the Sport Ministry and the RBU will organize the Russian cup in Sochi, which will be the first testing competition at the arena. We also invited the IBU representatives so they can value the track and the Olympic arena homologation. We are preparing for these starts as for the official starts, where the major part of the object should have the same functionality as during the world cup in 2013 and the Olympic Games. Of course we do not mean the full readiness, but the main sites — track, shooting range, technical objects, and press-center should be tested already in 2012.

— Did you have a chance to see how the Korean colleagues get ready for their Olympics? There have been many articles and words regarding the almost maximal readiness of Pyeongchang to the Olympic, which they got from the third attempt.

— Indeed, so much has been done here. First of all it concerns infrastructure. This sector was the most painful during the biathlon world championship in 2009. We have a meeting with a Pyeongchang's mayor. He said that the biathlon world championship gave them the priceless experience. They made their conclusions. In any case they have enough time to get perfectly ready for the Olympics.

RBU Media Office