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Leonid Guriev: “The main start for us is a European championship, not the IBU cups”

This weekend the women’s reserve team left for a training camp in Cyprus to rehabilitate after a hard summer training work. In the Russian team’s blog head coach of the team Leonid Guriev talks about necessity of the training camps in warm lands, gives reasons of the great speed of Valentina Nazarova in the individual race of the Russian summer championship, and explains his decision to keep the B team for the Russian cups in December.


“Hello, dear biathlon supporters! The women reserve team is in Cyprus now. This training camp is sponsored by the girls’ regions, that is why Evgenia Seledtsova and Daria Virolainen are missing here. Ekaterina Iourieva preferred other place for training.

Sportsmen should definitely have some rehabilitation after those loads we had at the summer training camps and the Russian championship. We organize rehabilitation camps in Cyprus for several years already. The conditions are great here. After such a trip, sportsmen can work for another 3–4 months.

We did a great job in summer, and it is time for such a rehabilitation camp. The sea temperature is 28 degrees – we organize swimming training, jogging, use a gym and playgrounds. We also took rollerblades and sticks with us to play field hockey. It is warm here – the girls can get tan and relax.

After this training camp, the team will have a medical examination in Moscow on October 10–11. We will see the results of summer training and compare conditions with those the girls had in spring. After that, we will have a training camp in Austrian Ramsau. It will last from October 12 to November 1.

I also want to comment on the Russian championship that took place in Tchaikovsky. Irina Starykh won a cross sprint. The cross is very useful; it helps to check functional conditions. If there is a cross competition in the list, then sportsmen and coaches will definitely train for it additionally. I always paid attention to cross and imitation. It is a great help in overall training of sportsmen.

Larisa Kuznetsova won in the individual race, while Valentina Nazarova finished second, winning more than a minute in course time. I think such a big difference appeared because of the track surface in the cross sprint. During the whole summer, we ran crosses on soft track (covered with sawdust). After a cross on asphalt, many sportsmen could not rehabilitate fully.

About the selection criteria to the main team – I want to explain my opinion. In spring, we gathered with the coaching staff of the reserve team. Together with Sergey Efimov and Alexander Selifonov we discussed all possible options. In the end, we decided that our team would participate in the Russian cups in December. This would help to have a smooth preparation to the European championship. This start is the main competition of the season for us, not the IBU cups.

We will continue our training course in Russia. This will solve such problems as transportation of training equipment. It is not right to finish the training process in December. The practice of the past years shows that biathletes of the team A participate in the IBU cups. We will have only couple of places in the team. Another 4 sportsmen from the main team and two athletes from the B team will participate in the second cup. The third cup will take place 10 days later in mountains. Six races in one and a half months would not lead to anything nice. The team needs to participate in the Russian cup to have more starts. This way we also can check other sportsmen, who are not training with the A and B teams now.

Thank you everyone! Good-bye! The team’s meeting will start soon.”