“Any crisis is an opportunity” — RealnoeVremya.com

The isolation of Russia from international competitions has again drawn attention to national championships, which are successively held in Kazan: in water polo, swimming, synchronized swimming, volleyball. Including the Russian Badminton Cup, which ended last Tuesday in the Badminton Center. Read more in Realnoe Vremya’s report.

Andrey Antropov: “The most important thing for us is not to lose our promising youth”

The chairman of the National Badminton Federation Andrey Antropov was one of the most attentive spectators. Realnoe Vremya’s correspondent started a conversation and said that in the current situation with Russia’s isolation from international competitions, it would be a little easier for badminton.

“I agree with your statement that Russian badminton will suffer less from the sanctions because it is a game inspired by athletes from Asia. In addition, not only Asia, China and India, our strategic partners, are leading. The same China was once in self-isolation, did not participate in the Olympics for almost 25 years, but continued to develop sports in the country. We must therefore also pay attention to our own strength and reserves. From this perspective, we have carried out absolutely all the planned tournaments, we will also organize new ones.”

By the way, here it is necessary to pay attention to the completely different quality of national tournaments, since previous leaders of the Russian national team could only come to the country’s championships, which were qualifiers, but did not appear in the cup calendar because of the international match. Not only the cup, which ended in Kazan, but also the last competitions had all the leaders of national badminton. But let’s give the floor again to Mr Antropov.

“I like the fact that generations are actively changing here, new names are being discovered, which intensifies competition. Our youth team won the U19 European Championship for the first time in badminton history. Our juniors under 15 and 17 are also among the best in Europe. As the saying goes, every crisis is also an opportunity. That’s why we shouldn’t lose the promising youngsters now by giving them a chance to show themselves and increasing the competitive pressure on the older players. Back to China’s experience. Now we are in talks to organize joint camps and tournaments to get permission for our athletes to compete in national competitions that are not held under the aegis of international federations. For example, in table tennis there is a precedent when two Russian teams that were eliminated from the semi-finals of a European Club Championship had to return because this tournament has its own status that has nothing to do with the European federation.”

In addition, there is a precedent with the Russian Luge Federation, which defended the right of our athletes to compete internationally, but international federations began to say that they could not guarantee the safety of Russians. It is necessary to work. Another thing can become the biggest problem. Badminton, like the well-known tennis, is a sport based on the rankings of athletes. Without competition, an athlete loses the points previously scored and slips further and further down the rankings. And nobody is likely to return these positions in the current situation. It turns out that after returning to the international stage, our athletes will have to start from scratch. Same European champions Alimov and Davletova, our very experienced doubles and European champions Ivanov and Sazonov, European Games medalist Yevgenia Kosetskaya.

Focus on Asia

According to Andrey Antropov, the majority in the badminton community agrees not only with the fact that the sport should get out of politics, but also with the adoption of the “collective responsibility” rule, according to which Russia and Belarus are on the sidelines. But Russia is ready to play with anyone who is open to it, that’s a lot of tournaments in Asia, of course, in some European countries, except for England, Denmark. In Russia, on the other hand, more competitions could be held, assessed the same Tatarstan Antropov:

“We try to do each competition better than the previous one. Speaking of Tatarstan, it is one of the leading centers for organizing competitions. On this occasion, I would like to thank the Government of Tatarstan, the Ministry of Sports, the Badminton Federation of the Republic chaired by Alexey Demidov, Yury Chaplygin and everyone involved in hosting this competition for the well-organized badminton festival.”

We thank Mr. Antropov for the high rating and agree with his considerations to focus on Asian Badminton. But it is necessary to try again to examine the experience of the same China. As is well known, China closed again almost immediately after the Beijing Winter Olympics, consequently its athletes are also losing points but somehow planning back into global competition as the qualifying tournaments for Paris 2024 will start in 2023.

Olga Pavlova: “We will never give up”

The head coach of the Tatarstan team Igor Nazarov was preparing to support his player Sergey Sirant in the men’s final, so he was able to speak to our newspaper during a mixed final. Bashkortostan doubles Rodion Alimov and Alina Davletova won, while heading towards a tough victory with determination, Mr. Nazarov answered the questions with determination.

“Here it is necessary to mention the preventive measures of the Tatarstan Badminton Federation, because earlier, together with our colleagues from Blagoveschensk, we cooperated with badminton players from China. The case that Blagoveschensk is on the border with China and had the opportunity to cross the border without a visa has not yet developed our sport. So our common desires coincided – Blagoveschensk wanted to develop, we wanted to improve, and we agreed on further cooperation with our Chinese friends. It is very important from the point of view that you cannot lose the pace of development. For example, now our youth can’t grow, play, spar and compete with leaders, children can follow players from the youth team, but the leaders fear that losing competition will affect their skills. We already went through this during the pandemic when it was difficult to get back to the usual training and tournament schedule after three months of lost competition. But here it turns out that only we and our neighbors from Belarus miss out on international competitions.”

The badminton colleagues of the synchronized swimming association also understand this, because the vice-president of the Russian association Olga Pavlova was one of the guests of honor at the Russian Cup:

“The Russian Open Championship, held with our Belarusian friends, is only the first competition. We are developing questions on joint competitions with representatives of 21 countries from four continents except Australia (It must be added here that this continent is seriously lagging behind in synchronized swimming). African Egypt, American Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, Cuba, Europe – Hungary, Slovenia, France, maybe Israel – are ready to cooperate. We don’t give up and we will never give up.”

Jaudat Abdullin


The author’s opinion does not necessarily coincide with the position of the editors of Realnoe Vremya.


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