Valeria Vasnetsova 'The fans support was felt through every metre of the race'
Russian biathlete Valeria Vasnetsova, the Winter Universiade 2019 champion in a Single Mixed Relay, spoke about the victory and shared her impressions of the Games.
'What things were in your mind when you were going to start in the Single Mixed Relay?'
'At that time I didn't have any medals of the Winter Universiade 2019. Of course, I was worried, and from the first metres of the race, I understood that it wouldn't be easy. The same thing became evident in the first shooting too. The weather conditions were difficult. I'm happy that Aleksandr Dediukhin and I managed to cope with all the difficulties and took the gold medal.'
'The weather conditions in Krasnoyarsk were unusual for Siberia during the Winter Universiade 2019. How did they affect you?'
'I was surprised. When we arrived, the weather was pretty warm with low amounts of snow. But I like warm weather. If the air temperature falls below minus five degrees, then it's already cold for me, I start to freeze, so I was comfortable during the Winter Universiade.'
'There was snowfall just before the start of the race. How would you rate the quality of the course after that?'
'The course was prepared very well on every day of the competitions, organisers did their best, so the snowfall didn't spoil the race.'
'It was the first time when Single Mixed Relay was in the Winter Universiade programme. How did you feel during that race?'
'I had only raced in a Single Mixed Rely once before. It was a long time ago, at the Russian Championship. I wouldn’t say that I like racing in the first stages. For me, it is very nerve-racking, especially when you do it for the country. I think that starting at the first stage of the World Cup in Canada helped me. It didn't work back there, but that failure only made me feel stronger and more comfortable this time around.'
'Did you feel special support of the fans during the home Games?'
'Of course. I want to thank the spectators—the huge support of the fans was felt literally on every metre of the course. I was hearing them even when I was in the middle of the forest. This was really nice.'
'How were you supported in your native Udmurtia and the Perm Territory—the places you represent?'
'All my relatives and the people whom I know were cheering, calling, texting, congratulating me with the victory.'
'How would you assess the results of the last biathlon season?'
'I think that you saw for yourself that the beginning of the season was quite good. I didn't expect it to turn out this way. Then there was a decline, and with each race, I felt some weight, pressure, and it all became more difficult. I'm happy that I was given a chance here. I spent an entire season at the international level including the World Cup. I think it will turn into a big advantage for me in the future.'
'What are your plans for the next season?'
'First of all, I want to have some rest. And then, I will start working on my mistakes—I want to fix them as soon as possible, make up for everything.'