A merited Russian coach sports in track-and-field athletics, who trained numerous champions and prize-winners at all important competitions, among them: Olympic Champions Olga Kaniskina and Valery Borchin.
- Mr. Chegin, at home even the walls help, don’t they?
- On the contrary it has always been harder for me to perform at home because you are surrounded by people you are personally acquainted with and you just don’t have the right to have bad results. You can feel the burden of responsibility. But, on the other hand, it is really great that this IAAF World Race Walking Cup will be a “home” event for us, meaning cozy: there will be no flights, and no change of time zones. We will come back to Saransk immediately after a sports get-together in Kislovodsk.
- Are our athletes well acquainted with the track they are going to race walk on?
- I don’t think we can call this track “ours” because this year it is going to be quite different from the track in the final starts of Grand-Prix and other serious competitions. The track will go through the city center in order to let as many people as possible watch the event. This is another advantage of the IAAF World Race Walking Cup being held in Saransk. When we race walk abroad, we usually have very few Russian supporters.
- How did the leaders of the national team train and perform this winter?
- We stuck to the training schedule and trained at full capacity. We also avoided injuries. Our team will be formed of the strongest athletes to compete in the IAAF World Race Walking Cup and not because one has to live up to the status of host. I think that in the run-up to the Olympics, leaders should participate in the starts by all means. And since we will not compete in the Grand-Prix, it is only natural that the IAAF World Race Walking Cup is an absolute must for all of us.
- Not every race walker, even not every titled athlete, was lucky enough to win this competition. Why so?
- The IAAF World Race Walking Cup is a massed start that brings together more athletes than any other official Race Walking event. According to the existing regulations, each country can have up to five athletes in a start. All come in big teams. I remember that in the early 1990s, over 200 athletes registered for each start. Besides, the status of this competition is very high. I would place the IAAF World Race Walking Cup third in the prestigeous rating of all track-and-field competitions – after the Olympic Games and the World Championships. By the way, we have sent invitations asking our most famous Race Walkers and their merited coaches to attend the event in Saransk as honoured guests. This tournament is a great occasion and we will celebrate it all together – the way we work, all together. And as long as we do this all together, our sportsmen will be absolutely beyond reach of their rivals.