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KAZAN, July 8 (Itar-Tass) - The fencers, who are competing at the Kazan Universiade, will make the backbones of the Russian fencing team at the Olympics-2016 in Brazil, four-time Olympic fencing champion, First Vice-President of the Russian Fencing Federation, senior coach of the Russian national fencing team Stanislav Pozdnyakov said in an exclusive interview with Itar-Tass on Monday.
On Sunday, Russian sabre-fencer Kamil Ibragimov won the gold medal and Russian sabre-fencer Veniamin Reshetnikov won the bronze medal at the men’s sabre individual event at the World Summer University Games.
“I expected this result. Our team is strong. I am glad that this is a young athlete who won (Ibragimov is 19 years old - Itar-Tass). We consider him with the plans for the Olympics-2016. He is making a strong progress, therefore, it can be said with a high degree of probability that he will play for the national team in Rio-de-Janeiro,” he said.
In the view of Pozdnyakov, other members of the Russian national team also performed worthily, “Reshetnikov’s bronze medal is certainly a good result, taking into account that he lost to his compatriot (Ibragimov - Itar-Tass) in the semi-finals. The bronze medallist of the Olympics-2012 Nikolai Kovalev was defeated at the 1/8 playoff stage, losing to Ibragimov. The tournament schedule was not in his favour, but it is possible to draw conclusion about the strength of the Russian national team. Reshetnikov and Kovalev will turn 28 years each by the Olympics-2016, this is a normal age for the fencers, because these three athletes in particular will make the backbones of the team for the main competition of four years.”
The world-renowned Russian fencer noted that the Universiade is taken as an intermediate stage of run-up to the Fencing World Championships and as one of the most serious starts in the current season. “The training plan was aimed at the tournament in Kazan. The Fencing World Championships is coming, therefore, we took the training in the special way. But we did not loosen the training for the athletes,” Pozdnyakov noted.
In reply to the question whether the fencer will withstand such a tough schedule of tournaments, the senior coach of the Russian national fencing team explained, “The guys are well prepared physically, we are training for this purpose. We got accustomed to such loads, as sometimes the stages of the Fencing World Cups are held in succession, therefore, they should compete regardless whether the competitions are regular or not. Their task is to fight for the victory and to do their utmost at all competitions without exception. I can forgive very many things - the lack of readiness over a really bad physical condition, the underestimation of the rival and some other factors that can influence the performance of the athlete. The only thing that I cannot forgive is an attitude of indifference,” Pozdnyakov said in conclusion.