‘For us, badminton is a real find’ — RealnoeVremya.com

A sport that was developed from scratch in the last 15 years before the Olympics

Two leaders of the Tatarstan team – Yevgenia Kosetskaya and Sergey Sirant – won the Russian Cup, which ended last week at the Badminton Center. As a guarantee for this success, the head coach of the Tatarstan team Igor Nazarov sees a badminton development pyramid with one exception. Read more in Realnoe Vremya’s report.

“Country children competed in France and Portugal”

Mr. Nazarov, how is republican badminton doing?

A few years ago we created a competitive base in our republic, which would help to develop our sport as much as possible, regardless of external factors. Also, we started implementing this system without suspecting the problems we would face later – first the pandemic, then the isolation of our athletes from international competitions. Of course, this required a good competition and training infrastructure, which was created in almost all districts of the republic. On this basis, we have started to hold some tournaments for children aged 10 to 12 with their own ranking lists, in which children can take part in tournaments up to four times a year. The eight strongest in their age group are rewarded with valuable prizes. It is a uniform, sports shoes, equipment such as a racquet, and so on. Older participants also have such tournaments. And this led to such an increase in competition that we had to eliminate from the team almost equally those who can fight with the leaders of Russian badminton from other regions.

Recently the club championship took place in Tatarstan, First Step is the next project that we will implement. It is a federal tournament under the auspices of the School Sports Federation under the presidency of Irina Rodnina. These are youth competitions for students from ordinary schools, not specialized.

On this basis, we have started to hold some tournaments for children from 10 to 12 years with their own ranking list, in which children can take part in tournaments up to four times a year, the eight strongest in their age group are rewarded with valuable prizes

They are important competitions for schools with small classes in settlements with around ten students in the class. It is difficult to give them even a basketball or volleyball lesson during physical education classes because there are not enough people, while badminton allows even team competitions to be held. “Badminton is a real discovery for us,” say physical education teachers in country classes. Another advantage is that in some other game sports, such as basketball, volleyball, everything ends at the republican level at best, while we have republican, Russian and even European competitions. I’m not saying that without proof because our youth teams have already taken part in such competitions in France and Portugal. And we even sent nine teams from different settlements of Tatarstan to a Russian final.

“Now our republic has 15 fanatically dedicated coaches”

As far as I know, badminton is so well developed in the settlements of Tatarstan that it is difficult for urban players to compete with them. Here you can train up to three times a week as a child, there even daily.

Yes, I think we really started developing badminton in these districts by laying the foundation of our sport. The association has done a lot, first organizing competitions, retraining coaches, then physical education teachers, giving them methodical knowledge. Some enthusiasts who decided to move from classes to competitions, which I’ve talked about developing before, came from those who were excited to develop badminton. So that’s how the pyramid was built, and now in the Republic alone we have 15 fanatically devoted coaches who also understand that their players should improve and hand them over to more experienced coaches. It is necessary to understand that this is happening in a sport that was almost non-existent in the republic at the beginning of the last decade.

I agree. I remember that in 2007 the then Minister of Sport, Marat Bariyev, ordered coverage of the republican student competition, and I spoke closely with various coaches. One of the biggest enthusiasts, Farid Valeyev, complained that there were no professional badminton players among the participants, they were either amateurs or former tennis players. The strongest badminton players of that time, Leonid and Mikhail Kapelyushniki, played futsal with me because they didn’t have a chance to improve in their favorite sport. And that was 10-15 years ago.

Right. Having moved to Kazan in 2016, I see firsthand how much our sport has evolved since then. A boarding school is the only thing we need to complete the real badminton pyramid. There is the Olympic Reserve Academy, but it’s in the other part of town, far from the Badminton Center. In Bashkortostan there is a badminton boarding school, where promising athletes study from the sixth grade, and European champions grew up, I mean Davletova and Alimov. But we have to make up something in order not to lose talent. For example, our coaches from Nizhnekamsk moved to Bogatyev Saby, but their students couldn’t, although they were third in the republic in their age group. In the end, someone moved to Kazan, their parents rented them an apartment, two players live with other families, including ours. And it is not only expensive, but also very responsible.

The Russian Cup is happening now and we see all the leaders. Almost the entire elite came to Kazan in March for the Wingent Zilant Russian tournament

Speaking of high-level athletes, there are a number of Russian competitions, there are about 20, including commercial tournaments with all the strongest, which was not possible before. For example, the Russian Cup is now taking place and we see all the leaders. Almost the entire elite came to Kazan in March for the Winged Zilant Russian tournament. There was no such thing before, the leaders could gather only for the national championship, while the rest of the time they competed in international competitions.

The placings issue will arise when our athletes return to the international stage.”

Perhaps this year we will see the entire elite of the Russian Championship in Kazan in a sport close to you, namely tennis.

Tennis is huge money anyway, and a sum of 150,000 rubles received by a championship winner is unlikely to attract these athletes. My colleague Nikolay Kalinsky, who works as the head of the Russian badminton team, brings tennis to my attention behind the scenes, because his daughter Anna Kalinskaya is one of the leading tennis players in the country, who, by the way, used to study in Kazan. For example, the next round of an international tournament costs as much as Republican badminton’s annual budget.

From great Russian tennis players, let me go back to great badminton players. Let’s start with Yevgenia Kosetskaya and her plans. Will she start the next Olympic season?

is there a choice Especially when there’s such an incentive as shortening the pre-Olympic cycle by a year. We’ve waited so long for Tokyo, up to five years, while Paris 2024 is two years away. We discussed this in the winter, when we took part in three tournaments in a row, successfully played with Sergey Sirant and seriously improved their individual rankings. But the issue of placings will arise when our athletes return to the international stage. In addition, qualifying for Paris 2024 could be much easier for Kosetskaya and Sirant. Men’s main rival Vladimir Malkov would not qualify as he turns 38 in 2024. Sirant’s opponent in the Russian Cup final, Georgy Karpov, seriously crashed in the rankings because Sergey was in the top 60 while Georgy was in the top 120. Kosetskaya was 21st overallSt-22nd in the world while its closest rival was not in the top 100.

A year before the Olympics, such a position in the ranking list will not be played back without force majeure. Our neighbors from Bashkortostan – Alina Davletova and Rodion Alimov, newly crowned European champions – also had good chances to play at the Olympics, for which they almost qualified in the previous cycle. Other European champions, doubles Vladimir Ivanov and Ivan Sazonov (they won in Kyiv a year ago, by the way), had their last chance to take part in the Olympics because both are older than 30 years.

We’ve waited so long for Tokyo, up to five years, while Paris 2024 is two years away

They also played in the final of the 2013 Universiade in Kazan.

Yes, now Sazonov will try his hand at mixed doubles and play in the cup final. In other words, there could be a problem with women’s doubles, despite the fact that Russia won the only Olympic medals in history in this discipline – Nina Vislova and Valeria Sorokina in London in 2012. It is necessary to educate the doubles and keeping an eye on fitness Badminton players who don’t play individually because they are slightly different disciplines. However, taking part in the Olympics is already a feat as doubles have only 16 odds while singles have 40. There are also some wild cards for representatives from developing countries, which reduces the number of Olympic tickets.

Jaudat Abdullin. Photo: vk.com/fedbadmrt


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


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