Biathlete Karim Khalili, bronze medalist of the 2022 Olympics, spoke in an interview with RIA Novosti about winning the first race of the season, severe Russian frosts, World Cup favorites, no ski races in the country, isolation. our biathlon and the possibility of performing at the Games in Milan.
– Karim, were the weather conditions really not suitable for the start on Saturday?
– Athletes have a very different attitude towards such frosts. Someone is better adapted to the frost, but in general, to be honest, the weather is very cold. Shooting in these conditions is difficult. Not everyone is very happy with this situation.
– Would you rather run away?
– It was unrealistically cold on Saturday, minus 30 degrees in the morning. It would be difficult to start in such weather with a racing suit. Let’s see what happens next.
Was it worse in Beijing?
– When the sun came out during the day in China, it was much better here than in Khanty. It will most likely be canceled on Sunday as well. Of course, this is entirely at the discretion of the judges, but competitions are unlikely to take place in such weather. It was on the verge of being canceled on Thursday and has now gone far beyond that. So far, the forecast for Uvat is the same. Unfortunately, nothing here depends on us. It’s clear we want to start and get in shape. But when the weather does not allow it.
– However, the sprint race you managed to win took place on Thursday. Are you all happy?
– I think I did well (smiles). But there is still work to be done. I’m still far from ideal in terms of physical condition, this is just the start of the season. There are so many start-ups before the new year that I planned to get up to speed through them. It was surprising to see that I felt good from the very first race. But I expect much more in terms of speed. Too bad they’re all canceled now. In general, I planned to hold all the races before the new year – the entire Cup of Russia begins in Ryazan.
– Have you already figured out how to watch the Biathlon World Cup, which our television will not show this year?
– I haven’t searched yet, but at the last moment, five minutes before the broadcast starts, I think I’ll definitely find something (smiles). Of course, I plan to watch the World Cup as much as possible unless it overlaps with our competitions.
– Who do you see as the favorite of the international season?
– I’ll probably split Johannes Beh and Quentin Fillon-Maillet. Girls are harder. I will name Elvira Oeberg as one of the options. Røiseland will miss the start of the season, and Eckhoff usually doesn’t accelerate right away. Possibly the Oeberg brothers could light up initially.
– Are you satisfied with everyone in Artem Istomin’s group?
– In general, I like everything, we have an excellent dialogue with the technical team, we have a good team. Everything is going well. We communicate with Egor Sorin regularly, we meet at the training camp if possible, we had joint training with his group.
– Is it a shame that Russian cross-country skiing is not really shown here at the moment?
– Of course I would like to watch our best guys, but unfortunately not everything else is up to me. That’s why I don’t think skiers should go to biathlon. Everyone should do their job.
– Disturbed by all the motivation problem without international competitions. In this context, what is your current psychological state?
– I try not to think about the sad news. I have something to show, something to prove. Including himself. I’m just trying to improve my business. Of course, everyone hopes that we will perform at the next Olympic Games in Milan. Everyone thinks only the best. Nothing depends on us here, I will just watch how the conditions develop.
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