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Ankur Rawat
IAU position: Athlet

Valery Ashikhmin: "World Cup Orel - 2018 will definitely get into the world history of crossbow sports."


A few days are left before World Cup Orel - 2018 in crossbow shooting. Very soon we will again see the best shooters of the world, we will follow the fascinating contests, enjoy the technique and beauty of this unique sport. The right to host the first World Cup final was given to Russia. The tournament in Orel will surely be a real holiday. All the guests and spectators will enjoy a rich sports and cultural program. You’ll find more details about surprises, preparation and new format in our exclusive interview with IAU Secretary-General Valery Ashikhmin.

- Valery Aleksandrovich, the first ever World Cup Orel - 2018 in crossbow shooting will be held in Russia. The tournament will be presented in a new interesting format. What will it be like? And why was it decided to modernize the competition?

- As life does not stand still, the sports world is constantly changing, upgrading, looking for some new forms in order to become more understandable for spectators and fans. And we are not an exception. IAU is constantly working, we are always trying to be up to date. According to the latest requirements it was necessary to make a number of reforms. Thus, a new format of the World Cup final has been introduced – an elimination competition, where shooting indoors will be held at a distance of 18 meters.

A series of World Cup events gave us chance to select athletes carefully. From a huge number of applicants only 32 shooters reached the final - 16 men and 16 women! They are the best in the world! And after qualifying, to 1/8 finals, their number will be halved, and further until we find out the names of the victors in the men's and women's standings. In addition we will honor for the first time the winners in the nomination "The best shooter of the year IAU". They will be the leaders of the world ranking among men and women in the division "Field".

- What awards will there be for the victors?

- Winners based on the world rankings are awarded with the Big Crystal Globe and the title “The best shooter of the year IAU”. And the winners of the tournament itself, World Cup 2018 in crossbow shooting, will win the Small Crystal Globe, as well as medals. Both Big and Small Globes will be awarded in the men's and women's qualifications. By the way, these exquisite cups came to us from Gus-Khrustalny, the main city of Russian masters.

- How did the sportsmen perceive the changes?

- Our sportsmen always support the initiative which is focused on development. For all of us such a tournament layout is a new experience, which, I hope, will be successful. I can say with confidence that World Cup Orel - 2018 in crossbow shooting held in Russia will definitely get into history.

- Was the preparation for the tournament difficult?

- A large and difficult job has been done. The most important thing is that we could find a common language with representatives of the executive power, promoters, organizers and other structures that support the tournament. For example, volunteers will help us in holding World Cup 2018 in crossbow shooting. Volunteers will play an important coordinating role, informing viewers and guests, as well as providing an atmosphere of hospitality and cordiality. For those who for some reason cannot be present in Orel, we organize a live broadcast of the final, which will be available on the official IAU website as well as on our Youtube channel. Exclusive photos, comments, interviews, news in the “live” mode can be found at www.iau-crossbow.org. A lot of more interesting things can be found on our social networks - Facebook, Vkontakte and Instagram.

- And still, what can we expect from World Cup Orel - 2018 in crossbow shooting? Reveal the secret what surprises have the organizers prepared and who of the guests will visit the tournament?

- During the World Cup 2018 in the city of Oryol we of course expect to see foremost local audience at the competitions. We have prepared a surprise exactly for them. Now we can talk openly! As it was announced, the competition program of the World Cup final will start with a master class with stars. The world-famous sportsmen and Olympians will shoot from the crossbow, and our world champions will make the company to them. The star guests will be: Olympic champion in figure skating - Adeline Sotnikova, the silver medalist of the Olympic Games, Russian judoist, vice president of the Russian Judo Federation - Tamerlan Tmenov, the winner of the legendary cycling race “Giro d'Italia” - Denis Menchov, the silver medalist of the World Cup in archery - Maria Vinogradova, European champion in track and field athletics, a well-known blogger - Lyubov Tkach, as well as President of the International Sports Society "Spartak", the legendary football player of the USSR national team Yevgeny Lovchev. You should agree that such a master class is indeed worthy of the final! High officials are planning to visit the tournament: the leader of the Communist Party faction - Gennady Andreyevich Zyuganov, a member of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation - Vasily Nikolayevich Ikonnikov, the Governor of the Orel Region - Andrey Evgenievich Klychkov, the Chairman of the Russian Sports Society "Spartak" - Andrey Alexandrovich Slushayev.

If we talk about the competition itself, then we certainly expect an uncompromising struggle, vivid emotions and an unforgettable sporting spectacle. We’ve made sure that the audience won’t be bored a single minute. From the first to the last shot the tournament will be accompanied by music and light, a laser show, quizzes and raffle prizes. As part of the World Cup finals 2018 there will be held a competition Carousel, already beloved by the spectators - the challenge match. This is a bright dynamic derby between the best world crossbow shooters and the members of the Russian national team in archery. In general, it will be interesting!

- And was the city of Orel chosen for the tournament not by chance?

- Yes exactly. The final of World Cup 2018 Orel in crossbow shooting will be held at Tourist Multifunctional Center ‘Grinn’. There have been created excellent conditions not only for holding absolutely all stages of competitions, press conferences, meetings and official events of the tournament, but also comfortable conditions for accommodating delegations, athletes and guests. And what’s more Orel is a city with an interesting and rich history, it was awarded the title of the city of military glory. This is one of the centers of Russian culture, where traditions and originality of Russian people are carefully preserved. All this beauty will be seen and, I am sure, appreciated not only by Russian athletes, but also by our guests. That means they will be able to receive not only titles and awards, but also a piece of our mysterious Russian soul.