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What is the future of Belarusian athletics?

Deputy chairman of the Belarusian Athletics Federation, head coach of the national team Igor Sivodedov answered the questions of the program Sports Week on the CTV channel.

Now we have fall and winter is coming. Are athletes off season or is this the time for hard work?

Igor Sivodedov:
They have already started the preparatory period. Low season ended after the World Championships. Although some of our leaders, such as Marina Arzamasova, Alina Talai, Olga Sudareva also took part in the world championship for servicemen. It was in the first decade of October. They will have some rest and then next month will be actively training. The rest of our athletes began actively preparing for the Rio Olympics earlier.

Igor, how do you evaluate Belarusian athletes' performance at the Worlds?

Igor Sivodedov:
In general, I always look at the tasks. The national team had the task to win 1-2 medals. We did it, we accomplished this task. Alina Talai won the bronze medal and Marina Arzamasova clinched gold - it's worth it.  Our shot putters are among the eight best too. This is only the beginning, we are confidently approaching the Rio. There is every reason to hope that there we will be even better there.

Did Talai and Arzamasova's medals come as a surprise?

Igor Sivodedov:
Marina Arzamasova... I was sure that this athlete would win a medal. With Talai we planned a place from sixth to eighth. But I knew that if Alina gets to the final, she will be able to hold on and fight for a medal. Of course, we had hoped for other athletes. Ivan Tikhon. Of course, we hoped that Ivan could compete at least for a place in the top five.  Test exercises showed that Ivan was in good condition. But, apparently, the many-year lack of competitive experience had its influence. Plus, some psychological pressure from the Polish Federation... But this absolutely does not mean that we would not hope for Ivan.  I think he would approach the Rio Olympics in good shape.

In what sport is there the biggest competition in the Belarus squad?

Igor Sivodedov:
I think that the biggest competition is in the women's shot put and the men's hammer throw. In the women's shot put, at least four athletes will compete for the right to join our team. Yulia Lyantyuk, Natalia Mikhnevich, Alena Dubitskaya and Elena Kopets (now she is Abramchuk, she got married).

When will Belarus finally form the Olympic squad?

Igor Sivodedov:
We have Group A already. These are the athletes who will try to get into the top eight. There are 20 of them now. We hope that at least 10 of those 20 will get into the top eight. Of those 10 we may hope for 2-3 medals. Somewhere 3 medals is our goal.

Will there be any peculiarities in training camps given the location of the future Olympics?

Igor Sivodedov:
For our leaders we have created all the necessary conditions. Trainings, meetings, beginning from the fall: they will gather in Portugal, Turkey, in the highlands. But there are athletes who have got used to their own training camps, for example in Kislovodsk. If they do not want to change these locations, we don't mind. If there are results - then why change anything?

Igor, representatives of many sports in Belarus' regions complain that they do not have enough coaches and thus there is no inflow of new specialists. Is there such a problem in athletics?

Igor Sivodedov:
This problem exists, and over the years it has influenced us. Older people are leaving, those who achieved very good results. Not all, unfortunately, prepared a replacement. So there is a problem. Although there are some young people who come and work from their heart. To work means to go to secondary schools, selected kids, bring them here, lure them and communicate with their parents. Unfortunately, not all are capable of it.

Are there talents?

Igor Sivodedov:
I even do not doubt it. Our Belarusian land has always been rich in talents. Another thing is that we have not always found them.  To recognize, to see the talent, you need a gifted coach. The year 2014 was rich in various youth and junior competitions. And so almost at every start did we have athletes who won a medal. You can even win fourth place but still be considered a talent, they just need time. We have such people.

Igor Sivoedov, deputy chairman of the Belarusian Athletics Federation, head coach of the national team