A press conference with the organizers and participants of the FIS Roller Ski World Cup in Khanty-Mansiysk was held on the eve of competition’s start.
The executive director of the FIS Roller Ski World Cup leg in Khanty-Mansiysk, director of “UgraMegaSport” Valery Radchenko, chief referee of the competition Vyacheslav Vedenin, vice president of the Ugra Ski Federation Sergey Kryanin and Olympic champion, participant of the competitions Eugeniy Dementiev answered various questions of media.
Valery Radchenko, Executive Director of the competition, talked about the special aspects of preparing for roller ski races: “After a successful stage of the FIS Roller Ski World Cup we held a year ago, we had to forget about the success achieved, get back to square one and begin preparations for the next year, which we started the very next day the competitions ended. As for this leg, its duration has been increased by one day compared to last year. The mass start track in the city was also changed to meet the wishes of the FIS delegation and athletes themselves. The goal was to make the track more complicated, so that there are uphills and downhills on the course. Together with the administration of Khanty-Mansiysk we decided to choose a new route for the track, and had it approved by the Cross Country Ski Federation of Russia and the FIS technical delegate. Unfortunately, this year we also faced certain difficulties. After the snow melted in the Winter Sports Center, cracks appeared on the asphalt. It does not play a big role for cross-country, however is absolutely unacceptable for roller skiing. Considering that only two organizations are engaged in road repair and asphalt laying in Ugra, the repair of the track was completed recently, just a few days before the start of the competition. Everything else was done as planned and did not cause any difficulties for us”.
The vice-president of the Ugra Cross-country Skiing Federation Sergey Kryanin informed about a number of participants of the event: “More than a hundred athletes are going to take part in the upcoming competition. Teams’ meeting will be held today, after which more accurate information on the number of athletes for each race will be announced. In addition to the Russian team and our traditional rivals like Sweden, Italy and Latvia, who will compete for the medals, there is a wild card from an all but skiing country – Thailand. We gladly welcome them, because expanding the geography of participants is one of the top priorities of the FIS Skiing Committee. Starting with roller skiing events, these countries can subsequently become participants in cross-country competitions”.
The chief referee of the World Cup leg Vyacheslav Vedenin told journalists about the competition program: “As already noted, the competition track was changed this year, it has become closer to the city center and this is great. Viewers, of course, are more interested in watching what is easier to understand. First of all, I am talking about sprint. 200 meters, the first one to cross the finish line is the winner. The same is with the mass start, which will take place on Sunday. In my opinion, these two disciplines will gain a lot of love from the public. In addition, both races will be held in the city center on weekend, respectively, we expect a lot of spectators and the attention of the city dwellers”.
Eugeniy Dementyev, a participant of the FIS Roller Ski World Cup, talked about preparing for the races: “In roller skiing, everything is exactly the same as in cross-country. The wax is used to grease bearings to make the roller skis roll well. In addition, there are different types of rubber that athletes use depending on the weather – rain or dry asphalt. There is a rubber even for hot weather”.
The Olympic champion noted that Ugra is at the forefront of roller skiing development: “In the day when biathlon was just starting to develop in Ugra, it was not popular in Russia. Roller skiing is the kind of ski sport that is now beginning to gain popularity in FIS. Ugra has all the chances to become a leader of roller skiing in Russia and in the whole world. I think this is the right step for our region”.
It is to be reminded that the FIS Roller Ski World Cup stage will be held in Khanty-Mansiysk from August 22 to August 25. The program includes three races – pursuit and its prologue will be held at the Winter Sports Center, while sprint and mass start will be conducted in the downtown.