By Paul Groves on 13/02/17 at 9:49 am
Russian Triathlon Federation shares with us an interview with this remarkable man.
Newly made five-time European Champion Pavel Andreev came by Russian Triathlon Federation to have a chat with Federation staff after another successful performance at the ETU Winter Championships. We would like to share Pavel’s positive and victorious attitude with all of you, dear triathlon fans. We offer you a chance to read a short interview with Pavel on results of European Championship in Estonia and about his future plans.
On January 28th the Estonian town of Otepää hosted the ETU Winter Triathlon European Championships. In the Elite Men’s race Russian athlete Pavel Andreev won his fifth title and fifth gold at the European Championships, beating his nearest competitors Oskars Muiznieks from Latvia by 39 seconds and another Russian, Dmitriy Bregeda who eventually became third, by almost a minute.
RTF: Pasha, is there anyone out there who can beat you in winter triathlon? How does it feel to become a five-time European Champion?
Pavel Andreev (hereinafter PA): Yes, of course there’s competition. With the appearance of a new athlete from Latvia Oskars Muiznieks, who is a member of national mountain bike and cross-country skiing team, it’s become much more interesting. In my opinion, he’s a rather strong athlete. After the race someone asked me if there was a struggle. And I said that today in particular there was a struggle! It was a wild race and I had to suffer and dig really deep in the last skiing segment. Running was easy; the bike was moved from technical mountain bike course to flat asphalt road because of weather conditions. We rode in a group, almost like a road race. We didn’t have any problems, although it was very icy. However, the last skiing stage I will be remembering for a long time. The first two laps went smoothly and I gave all my strength. I could only gain a little break on the third lap and all I had to do was to hold on. So I wouldn’t be talking about lack of competition, but thankfully winning is a standard situation for me in the recent years.
RTF: Has the number of participating countries increased in comparison with previous years?
PA: According to organizers this year, the number of participants and competing countries has grown twice if you compare with last year. The number of Age Group athletes racing this year was much greater. I can definitely say that the popularity of winter triathlon is growing. The organizers have done a great job and made a terrific, spectacular event for everyone. The weather on the other hand wasn’t quite winter; not so cold and very foggy. But this fact in no way affected this great triathlon holiday.
RTF: Does competition within the Russian team help you to achieve individual success? Or there is not that much competition?
PA: Of course there is competition and it keeps me going. First half of the race is hard work for everyone and during second half as a rule guys start to get tired but I keep up at the same pace. That’s why I’m winning.
RTF: Then what’s the secret? Why does everyone get tired and you don’t? Maybe it’s all about age and experience?
PA: Experience, yes. But I would also say that the most important thing is having a properly planned training process, especially a layout before main races. I compete at numerous races in different kinds of sport throughout the season, but the main accent in my training is European and World Championship in winter triathlon. I plan to reach peak for these events.
RTF: Who can you distinguish among Russians athletes? In your opinion who is making the most progress?
PA: I would say Dmitriy Bregeda from Saratov, he is definitely progressing year over year. Every tiny bit of a second, but he always gets better. That’s why Dmitriy is always on the podium. Pavel Yakimov was just recently competing in U23, but now he is already in Elite races. This level is still a little difficult for him, but his bike technique is excellent, his running has become much better, skiing has always been his strongest as he is a skier himself. It is still difficult for him but he is a promising athlete. Unfortunately, Evgeniy Kirillov wasn’t here because of the injury. He is a very strong athlete and I’m sure he would have fought for medals.
RTF: Pavel, what are your future plans?
PA: As for winter season and nearest plans I have skiing FIS Cup in Moscow, in Krylatskoe. Also February 18-19 will be Russian Winter Triathlon Championship in Ibresi (Chuvash Republic) In my opinion, it’s a very important race which should gather athletes of the main and reserve teams. I know that in Chuvash Republic there will be a lot of young athletes and we as experienced guys just have to pass them the skills that we have and also to prove that we are the strongest at the moment.
RTF: Does anyone have a chance to beat you in Russian Championship?
PA: (laughing). Of course! Though I always set up for every race as if it is a new race, from scratch, I forget about my previous wins and it will be very hard to beat me.
Interview recorded by Tatiana Kuntsevich and Lia Oganesyan
Translated by Irina Shtepa
Further editing by Paul Groves
Find more details about this event - 2017 Otepää ETU Winter Triathlon European Championships