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Anna Bulygina: “In January-February I should have my optimal form”

Anna Bulygina's comeback to the Russian team for the IBU cups became the great news not only for herself but also for many fans of Anna, who waited for so long for Anna to come back to the international arena. Konstantin Boytsov talked to the main hero of the «Izhevsk Rifle» competition about her long way back to the national team.

On December 5th 2010 Anna Bulygina had her last race at the world cup in Ostersund. Three weeks later at the «Izhevsk Rifle» 2010 she finished 6th in the sprint and failed the individual race, finishing only 43rd. After that we had some information about her illness, rehabilitation, training, trauma, rehabilitation once again. She missed the summer championship and missed her only opportunity to become a part of the national team. In the past week she finished in the top-3 in the individual race and won the sprint race of the «Izhevsk Rifle», that was a start of her return. There were many questions I wanted to ask her, but due to Anna's departure we had a very short, but dynamic conversation, just like a sprint race.

— Anna, were the tasks of the «Izevsk Rifle» this year and past year different?

— Yes. The main task for this year was to shoot well. Earlier I just gained my speed. This summer I paid attention to my shooting, I really wanted to shoot clean.

— Your shooting of the season 2009/2010 was full of the paradoxes — almost 100% in the relays and regular mistakes in the individual races.

— That is what I am saying — I am more concentrated at the shooting range now. I think more about the approach. The most important thing is to shoot well, I will work later on my speed. I run slowly right now. I am still recovering after the surgery.

— When will we see fast Anna Bulygina once again?

— I do not know. I cannot compare myself with the shape of 2009. I was really fast, but also had the shooting problems. I shoot well right now, but run really slow. Overall I think I am progressing. I just need to speed up.

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Statistics

Anna Bulygina, shooting at the world cups

Season 2006/2007 74% (74% prone shooting, 75% standing)

2008/2009 79% (77/81)

2009/2010 79% (74/85)

— Did you watch the world cup races last season?

— Of course, almost all of them.

— Did you feel anything like offence, discomfort, irritation?

— No. I could not participate in the world cup anyway, I felt bad myself. Why should I be offended?

— How often do you think of the Olympic Games?

— Often…

— A simple question — what could you change in the Olympic Vancouver, or wanted to change?

— I can only say that what has happened should have happened. I would love to change it.

— You trained with the Tyumen team, at the same time the main team trained under the Wolfgang Pichler's supervision. Do you know anything about their program? Are you afraid of the perspective to work with him?

— I cannot say I am happy. The uncertainty always alerts — how will it be… But it is not so easy to scare me. I have worked in the main team for more than four years with three different coaches — they changed almost every year. I am really experienced in this issue and the new coach will not be a shock for me. On the other hand — such an often change of the coaches is not good for me and for everybody else. It is impossible to get used to the person after just one year. It is also impossible to prove themselves for the coaches.

— Will you find your speed in January-February?

— I want to believe I can. I think that everything goes in this direction. I should have an optimal form in January-February. The question is how well it will be. In any case it should not be worth than here in Izhevsk.

Alexander Selifonov and Sergey Efimov — the coaches who worked with Anna during her best seasons — are sure that it is necessary to take Anna back to the team.

— If she continues to shoot the same way, we will see another Bulygina — says Alexander Selifonov. — I remember well how she could not get down to anything in Vancouver. She was good in the first race but she was not lucky with the starting group. After that it was getting worth and worth. She finished the mass-start at the last place, missing eight times. I said she could not compete in the relay in such a form. Guriev also was in Vancouver (the personal coach of the sportsman). He tried to change my mind, referring to her successful relay races at the world cups. He talked to Anna. I objected — I did not have a right to take chances. We had a control race at the training — we chose between her and Bogaliy. Anya missed many times. It was impossible to let her participate with such shooting. Now she improved her shooting, maybe she will become a completely new sportsman now. The golden time does not start for everybody at their 20th. Zaytseva and Medvedtseva waited for their victories. The most important things are not to give up and wait for your time.

Konstantin Boytsov