Russian divers at the Spartakiad of the strongest’ —

Sintez’s head coach on the results of the ‘Spartiakiad of the strongest’

Divers from the Sintez Aquatic Sports Club performed successfully at the Spartakiad of the strongest. Nikita Shleikher has three medals (gold, silver and bronze), Maria Polyakova won a gold medal, while Alexander Belevtsev has silver and bronze. Sintez club coach and Tatarstan team head coach Pavel Myaukin shared his impressions of the competition in an interview with Realnoe Vremya.

“I have very bright impressions of the Spartakiad of the strong »

Mr Muyakin, what can you say about the results of the Spartakiad of the strongest?

I have very bright impressions. And the preparation was top, the spirit of sporting competition within the team was felt, the teammates know each other and compete together, a very serious competition was felt. I want to emphasize that competitions in Kazan are always at a high level, and I have never heard of any complaints in this regard.

As for the results, Maria Polyakova won gold in synchronized springboard with Moscow-born Viktoria Korolyova. And this is a very important result. Maria is a hero because she was injured one day in competition while performing individually. We did not fully understand the possible consequences of this injury, I was very worried about it, but Maria managed to recover in one day. And in the final dive they edged out the competitors in the fight for gold.

In the end, his absence in the individual events led to a situation in which Tatarstan were 40 points behind Saint Petersburg in the medal table by finishing fourth.

Maria Polyakova won gold in the synchronized springboard. Photo:

Regarding injuries, I was surprised that Polyakova returned to competition after the injury news broke. By the way, Nikita Shleikher was also injured, which is why he did not participate in the Solidarity Games and it turned out that he had such a schedule: a successful performance at the Russian Championship, then he missed the Solidarity Games and he triumphed in the Spartakiad of the strongest.

As for Nikita Shleikher, he had a very bad bruise, upon further examination it turned out that he had two broken toes on his toes, and I think he was also a hero in recovering less than a month. Now, in addition to the springboard competition, he also competed in the platform. Those who stay tuned to his career know that Nikita had previously competed on the platform, then he completely switched to the springboard and now he is back on the platform. Moreover, we created the competition program almost in one day. He was second until the last dive and finished third at the end. To say he did a good job is to say nothing. It was done for the team for which we gave our best, even more than we could.

As for the springboard, Shleikher won gold in the duet when he was first with Yevgeny Kuznetsov, and the guys scored very serious points that would allow them to compete with the strongest foreign athletes. As for the individual competition, Kuznetsov was stronger, although we should not forget that earlier Nikita had won the Russian Cup already in the winter and the Russian Championship in Penza. They are seriously fighting with Kuznetsov, Kuznetsov is a very skilled athlete, the world star in diving, but in Spartakid Yevgeny was stronger.

Nikita Shleikher and Yevgeny Kuznetsov are the winners of the Spartakiad of the strongest in diving. Photo:

“The Juniors will compete in the second stage of the Solidarity Games”

Alexander Belevtsev finished third in the springboard, and this is a very serious result because now Sasha specializes in the platform. But I repeat that he participated in the springboard for the team, for this we had to find a compromise because Sasha performs more complicated dives. We simplified her program a bit to definitely get a result, and Sasha didn’t finish third in her event.

In the platform, Belevtsev was second in competition with Sandro Rogava from Moscow, moreover, due to some problems, he and Sandro managed to have only two training sessions. One session took place at the national team base in Krugly Lake and the second training almost before the start of the Spartakiad of the strongest. Of course, it is very difficult for them to surpass our leaders Bondar and Ternovoy, but in general the competition can be judged very good.

We lined up Karina Shklyar as another competitor, but she was unable to compete for a good reason, and only five divers scored points for the medal table despite the competitors having ten or more athletes on their teams.

But you are certainly first in KPI. What plans do you have now? Are you preparing for the second round of the Solidarity Games?

No, the juniors will play the second stage, while the Tatarstan first team will go to a training camp in Tashkent on September 20. There will be general conditioning, work in the mountains, the gym as a preparation stage for the next season.


Our divers can create serious competition in the fight for Olympic medals

By the way, what about the Olympic Games? For some sports, missing out on competition this summer is like missing out on the next Olympics because they catastrophically lose in the standings. Are there any Olympic prospects in diving if the athletes return next year?

Yes, missing the World and European Championships is just missing these competitions. If there is a permit, we will have the right to compete next year, we can not only get Olympic tickets but also, I am one hundred percent sure, our divers can create serious competition in the fight for Olympic medals, I mean Kuznetsov and Shleikher in the springboard and Bondar and Ternovoy in the platform. As for the women’s competition, Polyakova has seriously improved, Ilyinykh and Kuzina can fight for Olympic medals.

“I consider illegitimate the status of the European championships without Russian and Belarusian athletes”

Did you watch the world or European championship?

Unfortunately I didn’t because in both cases I was at training camp at the same base in Krugly Lake, and the internet in Lobna so far leaves a lot to be desired to be able to watch some competitions. Judging by the points, the results of the competitors are mediocre, to say the least, both at the world championships and at the European championships. Obviously, many things are subjective, but Shleikher’s points in the Russian championship would have allowed him to become second even in the world championship. While I consider the status of the European championships without Russian and Belarusian athletes to be illegitimate.


After the first stage of the Solidarity Games, we remember the truly incredible organization of the competitions in Kazan

Russian Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin recently announced the expansion of sports relations with Asian countries – Vietnam, Mongolia. But we understand perfectly that the sporting links with China are more important in this aspect. Let’s say that the presence of athletes from this country in diving in our competitions could recreate forgotten matches between the USSR and the GDRP or the USA. Do we know anything about the possibility of seeing representatives of China in the next competitions?

I know that we have contacts at club level, not at national team level, and the second stage of the Solidarity Game can take place like the Presidential Cup with junior teams, we will have Chinese athletes. I can say that the news is that there has already been confirmation from Cuba which athletes are ready to come. In general, invitations were sent to representatives of about 50 federations.

I would personally recommend coming because after the first stage of the Solidarity Games, one remembers the truly amazing organization of the competitions in Kazan, which was noted by both the president of our federation and the coaches, athletes who put ten out of ten.

Are there any changes in the fate of former Russian Diving Federation President Alexey Vlasenko?

What I know is that his status has not changed, but there is contact with him. And we want all disagreements with him resolved.

Jaudat Abdullin


The author’s opinion does not necessarily coincide with the position of the editorial board of Realnoe Vremya.


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