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There are no second places!

7-8 (2010)
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«Repoter» has analysed the main sports events of 2010 and the results of participation of Russians in them.

The World hockey championship. May, Germany. Russia — 2nd team place. Group tournament at the World Championship-2010 was played by Russians at the very high level and in the first playoff round they defeated Canadian national team. Canadians lost to extremely motivated contenders with the score 0:5. Having felt, probably, some relief, Russians played absolutely unpersuasively in a semi-final with Germans — 2:1, and in final yielded to Czechs, having resigned thereby as the world champions.
Pavel Datsyuk, Russian national team forward:

— Everybody expected only «gold» from us. There are no second places, and it left bad aftertaste. We have a lot to work at. Everything is ahead of us. We could see during the game, that we are ready to resist to the Czech tactics. We just missed this fast goal, then one more counterattack. If we used half of those moments that we had in the first period, it would be enough for victory. Though, we shouldn't blame «bad luck» for everything.

The World football championship, qualifying round. June, the republic of South Africa. The central event of sports year became, undoubtedly, the World football championship. It is a pity, that participation in it for Russian national team ended in 2009, when it let the right to go to Southern Africa. And it should be a great pity for Andrey Arshavin and Co, because the championship was played at rather high level.

Guus Hiddink, the ex-trainer of Russian national team:

— The fact that Russian national team has not gone to Southern Africa, will seriously hamper football development in the country. When the country is represented at the World championship, it automatically adds prestige to it and its football. And vice versa. We have to be honest with ourselves and realize, that we can't to call this failure common. Why did it happen? It is difficult for me to answer unequivocally. Probably, we believed in our victory too much, and the contender punished us for it.

The European track and field athletics championship. August, Spain. Russia — 1st team place. Frenchmen, Englishmen and Germans were close at Russian national team heels at the championship, but we managed to «roll in» at finish and win it with considerable medal backlog: 10 gold, 6 silver, 8 bronze awards. From those medals which we couldn't get, we have to note a failure of women sprint relay race. There were also pleasant surprises. Very few people expected victory from our men team in relay race 4x400 meters. And «bronze» of our marathoner Dmitry Safonov was the first European medal in this program for the last 30 years.

Valentin Maslakov, the head coach of Russian national team:

— We should have won 10-11 gold medals. At the previous European championship we had 12, but we should consider, in swimming, we were only the second, and our diving level doesn't obviously correspond to the best world examples.

The European water sports championship. August, Hungary. Russia — 1 st team place. The results of the present European championship for Russia — 7 gold medals in swimming, 13 — in team event in four kinds of sports, victory in freestyle swimming relay race 4x200 meters, gained by our men for the first time for 17 years. But there is also other score — Olympic. Despite general leadership in swimming, we were only the second, and our diving level doesn't obviously correspond to the best world examples.

Andrey Vorontsov, the head coach of Russian national team:

— I am satisfied with this European championship. For me it is important, that we did not look bad everywhere except relay races. It means that there is team spirit in our national team and a long bench. I will note combativity of all our sportsmen. I have no no reason to complain of anybody's devotion. Some of them aren't absolutely ready to win over the European leaders yet, but it is the other question. We will work, prepare for the following season. I am optimistic about the future of this team and its Olympic prospects.

The World wrestling championship. September, Russia. Russia — 1 st team place. We were disappointed by defeats of the Beijing Olympic champions Nazir Mankiev and Khasan Baroea. Both specialists and fans expected their high-class confirmation. Russian national freestyle and Graeco-Roman wrestling teams took 5 gold, 3 silver and 8 bronze medals, having won home World championship unconditionally. Generally, it was held at the very high level, the number of fights became the real decoration of tournament.

Bilyal Makhov, the world wrestling champion:

— I fighted with the thought: «I have to do everything not to blame myself for working bad or not doing something up to the end». First of all your conscience should be clear. If I lost with feeling that I have nothing to blame myself for, probably, I would not be upset very much. But, as you can see, I managed to win.

The World basketball championship (men). September, Turkey. Russia — 7th team place. The Russian national team, which had sensationally won the European championship three years ago, couldn't please the fans in 2010. Very young and inexperienced team, half of which debuted in the World championships, went to Turkey. Nevertheless, our basketball players gained four victories in five games, having yielded only to owners — to Turks, and reached the 1/8 of final from the second place. We had no chances against superstars of National basketball association — the USA teams. In consolatory tournament they managed to sweeten a bitter pill and have beaten Slovenes in a match for the seventh place.

Sergey Monya, the captain of Russian national team:

— The seventh place — is quite a good result. We would like better. If we were in the five, we would be very glad. It is good, that in last match we were losing, but, all the same, managed to break game course, and won a victory. We put ourselves and fans, who stayed to support us, in a good mood.


Author: Sergey Semyonov