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Today celebrates the Birthday

Pascal Christoffel
12.12.2019
IAU position: Athlet
19.09.2019

Olga Tashchieva: I told myself: “Olga, breathe! Everything will be fine! Just do it!”

Body: 

A junior Champion of Israel in rifle shooting, a 15-year-old guest of the 20th World Crossbow Championship in Match and Field divisions, Olga Tashchieva has not only captured the hearts and minds of spectators and strict judges, but also hit a bull’s eye. The young athlete managed to win the first place becoming the best shooter in Match division in “Guests” category. The crossbow beginner and her father and coach Alexander Tashchiev told about their impressions, discoveries, new friends and emotions in an exclusive interview.

- First of all, congratulations to you, Olga, you managed to show a high result by taking the first place in Match division in «Guests» category. And, of course, congratulations to you, Alexander, as a coach and father of the athlete! How did this idea of going in for a new sport like crossbow shooting appear?

Alexander:

- In January 2019 we received an invitation from Evgeny Aleinikov to participate in the championship in Munich. At first, we planned two athletes to take part in the championship: Olga was to come with her older brother Roy, but unfortunately, he didn’t manage to do it serving in the army and then only one athlete arrived – Olga, and I came with her as both a social activist and her dad. Olga had never held a crossbow in her hands before, although Mr. Aleinikov said that it was very similar to a rifle. Of course, the closer our trip was, the more excitement we felt as we understood that we would have to compete seriously.

- Olga, did you expect to win while your preparations to XX World Crossbow Championship in Ulyanovsk?

Olga:

- Thanks a lot! To be honest, I couldn`t even imagine it. This victory has become a pleasant surprise for me, actually a wonder!

- Could you tell us how this wonder came true?

Alexander:

- When we arrived in Ulyanovsk, we were accommodated in a good hotel with three meals a day and the Crossbow Shooting Federation of Russia paid for all the expenses. After lunch we decided to walk around the city, but before we had time to move away, we had got a call from Stas Kuznetsov. He said that he would bring us to training. And then it all started! At the gym of the Technical University we were given a crossbow from the reserves of the Russian team. Mikhail Lyskov told us about the differences between a crossbow and a rifle. Then, we got some tips from the beauties Inna Budaeva and Alena Nizkoshapskaya. In general, we realized that we were in a large and friendly family. Everyone wanted to help us. Then, we started training twice a day for three hours. Olga didn`t take offense at all for training without a bolt during the first five times. While shooting a rifle I usually call her a machine gunner, and here with a crossbow I was very afraid that she would not have enough time for preparation because of the greater weight of the crossbow. I mean, you need to find a way to relax between shots and there are also many additional actions related to loading, etc.

Olga:

- Of course, it was not easy ... I am engaged in rifle shooting, so shooting with a match crossbow was not something unfamiliar to me. I should note that a crossbow is much heavier than a rifle, and, moreover, it had to be lifted every time to load. Moreover, the process of loading a crossbow is completely different. But I tried, trained and made all these movements repeat automatically. During the competition I even caught myself thinking how I could load a crossbow so easily. I just laughed and thought: “That's it, Olga, you're ready!” (laughs).

- So maybe you are just very talented?

Olga:

- I would like to believe in it! (laughs) Don’t think I’m immodest, but it’s very nice if you to think so! (laughs)

- Were you excited at the competition?

Olga:

- Oh yes, I was nervous a lot, worried a lot. I was very afraid of doing everything slowly, that I would not have time to make the right number of shots during the exercise. But then I said to myself: “Olga, just breathe! Everything will be fine! Just do it! Enjoy the process!” And so it worked out.

Alexander:

- There is one secret to overcome Olga’s excitement: she should get angry. In my opinion, I coped with this task (laughs). I saw that in front of me there was an iron lady who was aimed at victory. At the first start - the Volga Cup - we were given a partner from the Swiss team - Tobias Felber. Certainly, both of us were quite nervous. Olga got 285, and Tobias 277 points. They needed three points more to enter the final. Anyway, we met more new friends!

- Alexander, probably, being a coach and father made you even more worried, didn’t it?

Alexander:

- It seems to me that at some moment Olga found tears in my eyes. Of course, I tried to hide them, but it turned out to be impossible ... It is impossible to control emotions when your pupil, and even more - the youngest daughter, reaches such heights! And it’s also very flattering to receive congratulations and words of surprise from such the professionals like Mikhail Lyskov and the bronze medalist of the Olympic Games in bullet shooting, the head coach of the Russian national team in crossbow shooting Evgeny Aleinikov. They did not expect her to succeed on the first try! Fantastic feelings ....

- Olga, did crossbow shooting immediately attract you?

Olga:

- When training without a bolt it was, frankly speaking, boring. I thought I really missed my rifle .... But when I picked up a “bolt”, loaded the crossbow, I got the feeling that I have to do it finally! After the first shots I felt adrenaline, excitement, it became incredibly interesting to me! Let's just call it love from the first shot. (laughs)

Alexander:

- When Evgeny Aleinikov gave us a bolt, Olga immediately got the interest. And so, here are our first loading and our first shot. Even though this was a training session Olga performed with great excitement. At the end of the day Aleinikov involved the entire Russian team and us in the final training. After ten shots Olga had a result of 93 points. It`s a pretty good result for the first time, but you should remember this is the final, though a training one. And then Olga began to demonstrate strong mind, all further shots were tens, but in total we were on the fifth place. Isn`t it a good result?!

- The 20th World Crossbow Championship in Match and Field divisions was the first major competition for you in this new form of shooting. What is this tournament remarkable for to your mind?

Alexander:

- The opening ceremony was full of unforgettable impressions! Who would not want to carry the flag of their own country?! And how I wanted to sing together with wonderful singers and dance with amazing dancers! I just didn’t want this evening to finish! You see, everyone could feel both Russian vast territory and greatheartedness! And, certainly, there was an almost forgotten feeling from the childhood, you know, when the dancing is over, and you fell in love a little... That`s a pity that everything finished so quickly. It’s a pity that you can’t see the eyes of athletes and coaches full of sincere feelings, it’s a pity you can’t see the eyes of the judges who still cheer for you, it’s a pity you will no longer see the edver-present organizers, who despite their high position behaved like athletes during the competition ready to do their utmost and even more!

Olga:

- I am totally delighted! I do liked everything. This is an unforgettable experience! I am very grateful to the organizers for such an invaluable opportunity to be there, see the competitions, take part, be taught by the masters of Match crossbow. I really felt like a part of a large crossbow family. I gained tremendous experience at the World Crossbow Championship and once again made sure that shooting is for me and no matter what kind of weapon you use!

- Olga, you are only 15 years old, I wonder how this love for shooting sports appeared?

Olga:

- I went in for rifle shooting when I was10 years old. In general, shooting is a family affair for us (laughs). Daddy and my brothers mind this business too! When I first got to the shooting range, I immediately realized that shooting is what I want to do in life.

- International IAU tournaments are, of course, always about professional sports, high results, battles, victories, competition, entertainment, but at the same time, it is also a story about friendship, because one of the main goals of the IAU is to bring people together with one big common interest. Have you felt this atmosphere, made new friends?

Olga:

- That's for sure! In my opinion, the main power of sports is in bringing people together. At the World Championship I met many athletes, so we communicate, we still chat in social networks. Russian is not my native language and sometimes it’s a little difficult to write ... (laughs)

- But your Russian is perfect!

Olga:

Thank you very much! (laughs) But I still suppose my English is better than Russian as I sometimes start writing something and “freeze” trying to remember the word in Russian. (laughs) Nevertheless, I’ve managed it up to now. My parents have the same difficulties with Hebrew, so we usually help each other.

- Speaking about the practical use of the knowledge gained, how did the experience that you received at the World Crossbow Championship affect you? Was it useful and in what way?

Olga:

- After participating in the 20th World Crossbow Championship in Ulyanovsk I feel that something has changed in my mind and in my perception of the shooting process. I look at previously familiar things in another way. New experience, new perspectives became available to me. I am sure that the acquired knowledge will help me a lot in future both in bullet and crossbow shooting. - Are you planning to continue Match crossbow shooting?

Olga:

- Yes, of course! I don’t want to stop, I really want to take part in other championships, test my strength and compete for medals. Interest is always an incentive to move on.

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