Zhurova's experiment and the return of Devyatyarov, Sr.
In the absence of international competitions in Russia, they are not unsuccessfully trying to organize their own high-quality tournaments.
Moreover, we are not always talking about starts for active athletes.
An excellent example of this was the "Match TV Race of Stars" held on February 4-5 in Moscow.
An amateur event with the participation of a large number of legendary athletes attracted considerable interest from fans.
On Saturday, medals were played in skiing.
The format chosen is unusual.
Each of the 12 pairs included one talented child who passed a special selection.
Sports stars joined the duet with them.
Among them were representatives of other disciplines, for example, Turin Olympic champion in speed skating Svetlana Zhurova and three-time biathlon world champion Ivan Cherezov.
Basically, people who ended their careers came to the start: Alexander Legkov, Alexander Panzhinsky, Maxim Vylegzhanin and even 63-year-old Mikhail Devyatyarov, the eldest, who took gold at the 1988 Olympic Games.
But there was a place for active athletes, for example, Sergei Ardashev and Evgeny Belov.
Both arrived in the capital from the National Cup stage in Krasnogorsk, where they performed well in the 15 km classic race: the first won silver, and the second stopped a step away from the medal.
It is not surprising that their duets were considered the main favorites of the competition.
In the first semi-final, Ardashev took first place, running away from a recent member of the Russian team, Sergei Turyshev, on the last lap.
Also, the teams of Alexei Petukhov and Anastasia Dotsenko made their way to the decisive race.
Zhurova with her young partner showed only the 12th result, but still received a portion of applause, as did Devyatyarov, the eldest, who closed the top 10.
The second semi-final turned out to be much more representative, because Belov, Legkov, Panzhinsky, Vylegzhanin, and Evgeny Dementiev came to the start.
But this time, the current athlete was not equal.
In the decisive race, finally, a face-to-face confrontation between Ardashev and Belov took place.
And Sergey proved that it was no coincidence that he was higher than his colleague in the recent race of the Kyrgyz Republic.
On his part of the distance, he provided his partner Yegor Tivikov with a solid clearance, and he confidently coped with the task - he came to the finish line first.
“Forces after the start at the Cup of the country, of course, remained.
I recently had a training camp on Laura.
It's much harder than running three races in a row... Today you didn't have to give 100%, maybe only at the finish line.
And at a distance you need to try to save energy, ”Match TV quotes Ardashev as saying.
But even those who did not get on the podium, experienced the pleasure of the competition.
First of all, this applies to children who, with their mouths open, looked at their star partners.
“It’s very cool to get on the team with Legkov, because I saw Olympic champions, but I never skated with them.
I was a little nervous and afraid to let me down, ”admitted Elizaveta Osipova, who performed in a duet with a famous athlete.
Legkov himself expressed confidence that the girl would grow up as a good skier and advised her not to take fourth place, as often happened to him.
Alexander also promised to show a good result in the biathlon race and “get a squirrel in the eye” at the shooting range.
Hat for Guberniev and Zaitseva's prediction
No less attention was drawn to the biathlon competition.
Firstly, they were led by the recognized voice of this sport in Russia, Dmitry Guberniev.
Moreover, Match TV subscribers in social networks could choose the inscription that would be put on the commentator's cap on Sunday.
The option "Where Dimon is, there is biathlon" won, gaining 17% of the votes.
The top three also included "I drink cognac in the morning" (16%) and "Hello, baby" (12%).
Among the participants were stars not only of sports, but also of show business.
For example, the famous singer Mitya Fomin decided to test his strength.
As partners, he was identified with two-time Olympic champion Olga Zaitseva.
Before the start, she assured that the partner is in good shape and shoots well.
Fomin also recalled that he was born in Siberia, and therefore skiing well.
It was very curious to look at two purely sporting duets.
Legkov had to fight for medals along with the famous figure skater Ekaterina Bobrova.
And Anna Bogaliy got into the same team with the honored athlete Yuri Borzakovsky.
By the way, Zaitseva singled out the latter as favorites.
Their bets paid off.
But Ivan Cherezov and the host of Match TV Olga Petrikova performed above all praise.
They showed an amazing result on the firing lines - just one miss with 40 rounds.
Moreover, his former biathlete allowed him.
As a result, the pair won by a huge margin of almost four minutes from the closest pursuers.
Olya amazed me.
Of course, yesterday I saw her shoot.
But I thought that in a calm environment - one thing, and when you work on the move, it's completely different.
In addition, there were very small targets that were not easy to hit ... Well, Olga is just a queen today, ”Cherezov did not get tired of praising his partner.
The secret of Petrikova's success lies in the fact that she was seriously engaged in cross-country skiing and biathlon throughout her childhood and youth.
And even when she was on television, she did not leave training.
And the talisman for the girl was the old shoes, in which she, according to her confession, ran in her youth.
“Thanks to Vanya for the touch and for smearing my skis with something magical.
Dima Guberniev supported me and the fans so much ... Of course, we evaluated our rivals.
My sports background helped me.
Approximately I understood that we could be in prizes, but so that like this ... I didn’t believe until the last, ”Petrikova admitted.
This race in general turned out to be incredibly successful for the hosts of Match TV, because another employee of the TV channel Sabina Aktorina, paired with Andrei Makoveev, a multiple winner of the Planet Cup stages, won the silver.
Even the temperature that rose on the day of the competition did not prevent her from performing successfully.
True, the duet shot much worse and made 16 misfires.
At the same time, unlike her colleague, Sabina only last year got on skis for the first time in order to participate in the race, where she was the last.
Since then, she has only tried herself in this form a few times, and therefore this result has become a sensation.
Are you kidding?
During the race, I did not know what line we were on, I was focused on shooting accurately and covering the distance.
When Andrei told me that we were second, I was shocked ... I just have no words, ”said Akterina.
And the third line was taken by Bogaliy and Borzakovsky.
They made the same number of misses as Aktorina and Makoveev, but lost about ten seconds to them at the finish line.
The Olympic champion in the 800 meters admitted that his main task was to overcome the distance as quickly as possible and, if possible, hit the lines.
However, according to the former track and field athlete, it was not easy, because the targets were very small.
And the honored biathlete called her partner's "baptism of fire" successful.
“You need to prepare for any race, especially when the discipline is short, so certain physical preparation was doubly required.
But at the turn, we managed to work better than on the ski track, ”Bogaliy shared her impressions.
But Zaitseva and Fomin did not find a place on the podium, but they still enjoyed the competition.
This was especially true for the singer, who literally glowed with happiness after the finish.
“Great mood, Sunday, good weather, spring is coming.
Lots of reasons to rejoice.
The main thing is to be a match for such a race, I tried.
It was very important to support the morale of our athletes who can be admitted to the Olympic Games.
I am in favor of taking them at least under a neutral flag, so that the guys have the opportunity to compete, ”Fomin expressed hope.
Famous skiers did not perform too well either.
Legkov and Bobrova, despite their promises to “hit a squirrel in the eye”, left 26 targets uncovered in total and were almost seven minutes behind the victors.
Alexander, as always, remained positive and assured that he was still satisfied, even if he did not cope with the work at the borders.
But the ex-figure skater was clearly upset.
According to Bobrova, she shoots well at the shooting range, and before the start she was given a professional lesson by Zaitsev.
Ekaterina showed good results at sighting, but it was not possible to transfer them to the race.
“I really wanted to participate in this event, it is a great honor for me to at least run with Sasha Legkov.
In general, I am happy with this holiday.
Of course, I set myself up to have fun, to do the maximum of what I was capable of.
But something, as they say, went wrong,” summed up Bobrova.
Another well-known skier Alexei Petukhov, together with radio host Diana Tereshkova, showed the penultimate, 11th result, but also considered the idea of holding such a competition remarkable.
“It turned out to be a two-day sports festival.
Yesterday, children competed with us - this is the main motivation for them.
In our time, there were no such examples to run with the stars and eminent athletes shoulder to shoulder ... Such events must be held as often as possible, Petukhov emphasized.