2008-01-04 13:41 | Interview with Serguei Sednev - bronze medalist in Pokljuka
Even Ukrainian coaches did not expect that Sergey Sednev will be the best among Ukrainians in the general World Cup standings. Before the season he considered to win his first points and not a podium place. It is clear why Slovene television cameramen have paid attention to our biathlonist only before finish.
- As far as I know, earlier you considered yourself as the loser. Will you change the opinion now?
- I have considered myself as unlucky when acting at a youth level. Very often I was at the fourth position at the important starts, once I was in a step from a pedestal on the World Student Games. But the time when I was close to medals has left together with junior age. Therefore I was sincerely pleased even to be in TOP30 at the first stage in Kontiolahti. I considered it as a huge achievement. Can you imagine what the third place means for me!
- Did you have intuition before the race?
- I did not have a premonition of success, rather vice versa. It was so hard on start that I thought only about finishing the race. I thanked our servicemen after finish because yesterday my skis really flew on a track.
- How did you take the fact of starting the sixth from the end?
- According to the new rules the sportsman who is in TOP60 of the world rating receives a place in the third group. In general, I was ready to run one of the last. I did not watch the race, only looked at the first participants’ shoots, and then started to warm up. But now I will never give away my happy number 92. I even promised my wife that we’ll keep it.
- Coaches of the Ukrainian team said that the wind had helped our female combined team to win sensational silver in relay race at the World Championship in Hanty-Mansiysk-2003. They say the Ukrainian biathlonists like to shoot in windy conditions because such weather is typical for Tysovets. Perhaps, this time it is also necessary to thank Mother Nature?
- Today the wind has been really strong. I was lucky that during the race the wind was the same as on training. However, I decided to make the small correction on the second shooting range, because on the right the wind was blowing stronger. For me even the slightest wind is a disaster. I can cope with shooting from laying position but standing is my problem. Today it probably was my day, as well as four years ago for our female team. At first I didn’t believe that they had won the second place. I did not watch the race, my mum informed me about it.
- Was it possible to you earlier to close all targets during race?
- Yes, several years ago on the Cup of Ukraine. And more recently during the selection starts of our combined team before the first stages. What happened on last shooting in Pokljuka? I closed the first target, but missed the second shot - three hours to the right. There was no wind, and I did not feel psychological pressure, simply hurried a little. It happens, when you enter into a rhythm, and then suddenly pull your finger more strongly.
- Did you know about the default competition for a medal with your friend Oleg Berezhnoy?
- I was fourth after the last shooting and I knew that I lost a lot of time to Oleg. I was very surprised, when on a distance I was informed, that there were only ten seconds between us. Even on the last round I did not think, that I ran for the bronze. I hoped to be at least in TOP5. After all, nowadays the density of results is very high, and every wrong step can cost you several positions. Only after the finish I saw that my comrade had been left behind less than for a half of a second.
- Was Oleg upset to remain in a step from a pedestal?
- Oleg, were you upset? He says, that it’s better to be beaten by a teammate than a German sportsman :). We live in the same room and it turns out that our room is the strongest. We promise to show good results in the future! By the way, we even accepted congratulations together. The two of us have received 47 sms messages. Oleg’s phone is broken, therefore all his friends and relatives write me. For such guys as we are, it is a miracle to be in TOP5! We shoot well, our skis rolled fine, but after the race we looked at each other with burning eyes and did not believe that being such young we are already in elite. All team members have acted great today, it was the first time when we won the first place according to the results of race in the Cup of Nations. We even out-distanced Germans! It’s incredible! Konstantin Vaygin was right by saying in the last season that next year we would have a result. All of the male team coaches, especially Vladimir Korolkevich (a coach from Belarus who conducted our summer training) contributed greatly to our success.
- Ukrainian coaches often complain that we have no one to run for the last stage of a relay race. Are you ready to be this hero, at least, in Pokljuka?
- Frankly speaking, I would feel better at the third stage, because there’s a very complex psychological struggle at the last stage. But of course I will run if the coaches tell that it’s necessary.
- Probably, this medal is the best gift for your 24th anniversary which you are going to celebrate on the 19th of December...
Yes, you are right. By the way, I‘m going to celebrate my birthday on our training base in Tysovets. My wife will arrive there. Nina will participate in competitions, too, both in cross-country skiing and biathlon.
Individual race results
Translation by Biathlon.com.ua, original language russian (Sport-Express)