In Russia, the summer athletics season is gaining momentum, and one of its most striking events will again be the Athletics Week in Moscow. It includes a whole series of thematic tournaments, some of which take place with elements of the show.
In particular, this year, for the first time in history, in the very center of the capital, on Nikolskaya Street, 60-meter races will be organized - smooth and with barriers, in which not only active athletes will take part, but also Olympic champions of different years, show business stars and representatives of other sports. And the highlight of the program will be the performance of Alina Zagitova, Kamila Valieva, Sofia Akatyeva and Adelia Petrosyan in a sprint without obstacles.
"In my opinion, this is a very unusual and cool initiative! We will be able to test our strength not only on the skating rink, but also on the running track, also in the heart of Moscow! For me, as for many athletes, running is an important part of staying fit and testing endurance. I hope that our example will inspire viewers to an active and healthy lifestyle," Zagitova shared her expectations from the new experience.
It is not the first time for the Olympic champion of Pyeongchang to perform in a new incarnation. Last year, at the Moscow Sports Day, she took part in an open boxing training session with Oleg Saitov, and this summer she is scheduled to perform on the fencing track with Sophia the Great.
Valieva is also no stranger to athletics. According to the athlete, this is not the first time she participates in interesting running activities.
"A year ago, I already ran five kilometers as part of a charity race, now it is interesting to test my strength in the sprint distance, which requires special concentration. Well, the fact that I will participate with the girls will add positive emotions - such friendly competitions allow you to emotionally liberate yourself and take a break from training, "the press service of Moskomsport quotes the skater as saying.
Tatyana Tarasova, Honored Coach of the USSR and Russia, enthusiastically embraced the new collaboration.
"It's a great idea, I can only support it. Short distances are very suitable for figure skaters. After all, we are also actively engaged in physical training, we have been ready for such loads since childhood. Previously, they often held training camps together with athletes. The long jump is also good, but to a lesser extent. There are no concerns about unnecessary injuries, since skaters are professionally engaged in athletics, "RIA Novosti quotes the specialist.
Last year, the Athletics Week was remembered by figure skating fans for the participation of Alexandra Trusova in long jump competitions. She entered the sector with the juniors, and her appearance gathered almost more spectators in the stands than the top evening competitions. The vice-champion of the Beijing Olympics showed a fairly high result for an absolute beginner, in the best attempt to fly to 4.19 m. He would allow her to qualify for the gold GTO badge and get the second junior category.
In addition, as part of the Sprint Festival, the Golden Race, a 100 m race, was held, in which a whole scattering of Russian sports stars took part. As expected, the Olympic champion Yuri Borzakovsky won it, Alexei Yagudin, Nikita Nagorny, Alexander Legkov, Vic Wilde, Alexey Savrasenko, Denis Glushakov, as well as sports journalist and TV presenter Dmitry Guberniev tried to compete with him. The Olympic champion of Salt Lake City was not averse to testing his strength in the sprint race this time.
"Why not give it a try? We are not talking about high-performance sports, for example, I have always liked to play football, hockey, why not run, why not try my hand at shot put and so on? Sport unites, nothing like skaters try themselves in some other sports areas. On the contrary, I welcome," Yagudin said.
According to him, running is always present in terms of preparing skaters for ice training - not only cross-country, but also short distances.
"The skaters are quite explosive. We have programs - both short and free - a maximum of 4 minutes and 30 or 40 seconds. For short distances, we can safely try - not to compete, but to show ourselves in all its glory, "added Alexey.
In turn, Guberniev also positively assessed the idea of inviting figure skaters, but did not do without irony about Zagitova, who is regularly made fun of in the media space. According to the TV journalist, the Olympic champion of Pyeongchang may not come to the competition when she finds out that it is he who will comment on them. And the favorite of the star races, he called the singer Olga Buzova, who for a long time tried to bring together with Alina in the boxing ring.
"The distance is small, so anything can happen. In general, Buzova will win. I know that it is being prepared intensively. It's great that figure skaters take part in the Athletics Week, develop, Trusova jumped in the long jump. Athletics in Moscow is more than the queen of sports, especially in these difficult times. In general, all athletes try themselves in other sports. Running is a fundamental basic exercise for training. The most important thing is to warm up well, so that, God forbid, you don't stretch any muscle or tendon. I wish the girls good luck, "RIA Novosti quoted the commentator as saying.
The best runner of Russia at short distances, multiple champion of the country Kristina Makarenko complained that all attention on the eve of the tournament is focused on the invited participants, and not on the direct representatives of the species. According to her, even on the posters there is not a word about the athletes who will have to go on the track.
"I want people to know when they come to competitions: in addition to stars, there are also athletes who show good results. I didn't compete in Athletics Week last year because I was injured, so I watched the TV broadcasts. And it was a little strange that the stars from the press paid more attention than the athletes. But, perhaps, it is after watching such shows that someone will like athletics and want to do it. Maybe someone will come to see the figure skaters, and will love athletics. After all, we have a very beautiful sport. Where else can you see people running so fast or pole vaulting for five meters, especially girls?" the athlete said in a conversation with RT.
At the same time, she admitted that she does not feel resentment due to the fact that the audience likes to watch the demonstration performances of figure skaters rather than the competitions of specialized athletes.
"I understand that athletics is not such a popular sport, although it is basic in sports. There is probably no resentment as such, I just want people to look not only at the stars, but also at us. And I also want to ask athletes from other sports who will come to Nikolskaya to stay sincerely cheering for the athletes, and not leave immediately after their races, "Makarenko emphasized.