Without rifle. Dmitry Malyshko

Various World Cup stages prize winner Dmitry Malyshko shares his secrets of active and healthy recreation: PWCs and scooters, tattoos and karting, fishing and riding elephants, Cyclopean rock lobsters and exotic fruits. Exclusively for the Biathlonrus.com, Pavel Kopachev talked to the best newcomer of the Russian team.

VACATION

Two years ago Toha Shipulin and Ilya Trifanov had a vacation in Pattaya. And they liked it. There were many young people, including Russians. So, they decided to take me to their next trip there (the idea came to them in winter):) It is a loud city in the South East of Thailand. It has amusing history. Pattaya had been an ordinary fishing village until 1950s. Then Americans built an air base and a navy base in the Gulf of Siam, and Pattaya became a favorite resort of American military. Now, it is mostly occupied by the foreigners, and there aren't many Thai people there.

I used to go on vacation with my girlfriend, those were quiet and relaxing trips. This last trip was the first time I went and had fun with my buddies. I am a very energetic person: I cannot just lie down and do nothing for a long time. I can enjoy the sun on the beach for a few days, but then I get bored. For the first few days we were swimming and lying on the beach, and then we decided to liven up our vacation :) So, we went fishing, kayaking, rode elephants (it was the first time I saw a real elephant!), fed monkeys, rent PWCs, tried exotic fruits — even mangos and pineapples taste differently there! Sea food is super delicious: rock lobsters, crabmeat, shrimps, mussels.

We are lonely coyotes. Right after our arrival there we agreed to just let go and have fun out there. And we actually had some adventures. We enjoyed the night life: bars, night clubs. You have to know we didn't do anything indecent though :)

Well, maybe except for temporary tattoos. We'd thought it would have lasted for two weeks, but it came off 5 days later. So, we walked around proudly with funny coyotes tattooed on our shoulders. We also rent scooters and periodically rode to a wild beach close to Pattaya. It's a beautiful place: cool water, clean sand… We swam naked.

We tried Thai kart racing. Four races, each is 8 minutes long. Toha even got into the Top-10 results of the day. Ilyuha [Ilya Trifanov] and I were a little behind, I guess our karts weren't as good. Next morning we woke up with bruises and couldn't feel our bodies.

I think, this has been my most memorable vacation. I wish it hadn't been over so fast. It's always like that in biathlon: training — hotels — competitions. All year you are waiting for the sun, and when it comes you never have enough time to enjoy it. What's 10 days? I return home and there's a new season just around the corner. Of course, the first practice camp is light preparative training. No one is going to load you with weight lifting or biking. But even then you already don't have time to relax.

Where are you going to next year? Emm, we haven't decided yet. We are not going to Thailand again. We want to visit other countries. We'll decide later. The important thing is who you are going with. Although… You asked about my dream. Well, I have one — I want to go to the United States. I'd love to see it with my own eyes, not on photos and pictures from the Internet. Europe is tranquil and relaxed. As for the States, I don't know what the country is like.

Oh, and I almost forgot. The most important news! St.Petersburg's Administration promised to give me an apartment. I am about to receive the keys. The house is new and I think is ready for exploitation. It is not far from Moskovskiy prospekt, close to subway, airport and the ring road. I hope the apartment has at least three rooms :) The best I can hope for is a huge residence with two floors :) I'm kidding. To be honest, I still cannot believe this is true and that I am going to have my own place!

SPORT

I am more interested in individual medals. I will try to make it to the first three prize places more often. I was a little bit unlucky last year: I was fourth, fifth, sixth. I would always lose just a few seconds.

In order to improve, you have to give it all to biathlon. Every day. Usually, when I come home to St.Petersburg I am extremely busy. Meetings, different kinds of official papers… I don't always manage to escape this  routine… This time, however, after coming back from vacation I didn't let myself get out of shape. Roller blades, bike, swimming pool. I had five swimming sessions, each was 1.5 hour long. I set my personal record: I swam 50 meters underwater.

I still lack consistency in shooting. In long races there is always a shooting round where I fail. I have to improve, minimize the number of errors. Last year coaches completely changed my ready position. My shooting technique improved.
I always listen to the advice. My personal coach Dmitry Kucherov, the coach of the Russian team Andrey Gerbulov, the two-time Olympic champion Anatoly Alyabyev won't give bad advice.

I would say that speed comes naturally. Still, a lot depends on the physical training. Last year, for example, each race made me rather nervous. I could not tell for sure in what shape I was. I would only get the idea of how I'd done by studying the results of the race. Thankfully, I did not have problems with speed during the season. I think I was even improving this parameter with each new race, in spite of my tiredness.

I think that there is no difference between the World Championships and the World Cup stages. Maybe except for the number of spectators. I didn't feel any pressure because of them in Ruhpolding though. I was focusing on the sprint I had ahead. My coaches had others plans though: they entrusted me with two relay races and an individual race.

At first, I had to get accustomed to contact races, find the right strategy, the right speed. The secret is to increase the pace gradually, find a leader on the lap and follow him. You cannot overdo and then be tired when you reach the shooting line.

Unpleasant rivals… Hmm, I don't know. When somebody cuts in front of you or pushes you, it's obviously not on purpose. The track is narrow, there is not enough space for everyone. It is a biathlon rule to apologize in such cases: you either do it right away, or after the finish line. In Khanty-Mansiysk I accidentally stepped on Bjoerndalen's ski, and he fell. I apologized to him later. These things happen.

My favorite biathlon courses are in Kontiolahti and Khanty-Mansiysk. There are steep lifts, and after them you can gain speed on the slopes. Holmenkollen, on the other hand, is a torture. Half of the course is a lift where you lose a lot of energy, then there is a sharp slope and then a lift again, and there you don't have any time to regain energy.

The competition in the National team is, of course, present. You can really feel it when it's getting closer to the beginning of the season, when the final selection for the World Cup is under way. We all fight for a place under the sun. No one wants to be unwanted. It's normal. We have never made it to the fist fight though — it's not football.

My car is my everything. Traffic in St. Petersburg is not as bad as in Moscow. I tend to drive to meetings. I only was in an accident once. And it wasn't my fault. I was driving back home in the evening. Two street racers were rushing by, one of the cars skidded and hit my car. Thankfully, it wasn't serious.  

Being alone at home is unbearable. I'll call my friends right away. Being around people is my thing. We usually walk along Prospekt Kosygina [street in St.Petersburg], it's close to Nevskiy. Very nice district.

If I hadn't become a biathlete, I would have been a motorcycle racer. It's pure drive and adrenaline! I don't know why, but I'm always leaning to something extreme:)

Pavel Kopachev for Biathlonrus.com