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Evgeniia Pustynnikova: All participants of the Masters water polo tournament should be awarded gold medals for their courage only

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11.08.2015, 10:04 Sport
Evgeniia Pustynnikova, International Master of Sports (water polo), 2010 European champion, took questions from a reporter of the Kazan 2015 OC’s Press Office and explained her all-the-time fighting spirit towards nothing but gold medal and also explained how come on the way Russian second names appeared among the Italian water polo players’ list.

– Do you know how many teams are fighting for gold in the FINA Masters water polo tournament?

– Or course I know, there are three of them. You don’t know how long we’ve been waiting for the third team to be named. If they hadn’t applied, there would have been only two women’s teams. We would have had to compete alongside the men’s teams. But we were ready literally for everything at that time (laughs). Competing against water polo players in the 30 age group would be a bit difficult but we would have been quite able to compete with teams close to our age group.

– All I want to say is that there are three competing teams and everyone will get their medal, the question is which one!

– To tell the truth, we hope that since there are three competing water polo teams, and each team belongs to a different age group. Hopefully, the organisers will feel generous enough to award a set of gold medals to each age group. All of us have already earned them for our courage as only three women’s team entered to take part in the Championships and I think each of them deserves gold. 

– Speaking of your teammates, have you met them only on the first day of the tournament?

– Some of them yes. But I have already known the majority of my teammates before. All of us are from different cities: Kirishi, Saratov, Moscow, St. Petersburg. Over the years we’ve been keeping in touch. Unfortunately we haven’t played together as one team yet; usually we happened to play in opposing teams. 

– How many training sessions has the team had before playing the first official match of the Masters tournament?

– It’s the match itself that became our first joint training session. We have not had a training camp, although I don’t deny the possibility that two or three girls gathered together to train in their cities. We were growing as a team part way through the match. Considering it was our first match, I think that we did quite well (smiles). At least, the coach was satisfied with what he saw. The score 16-6 speaks for itself.

– What can you say about your first rivals at the tournament? What is opinion of Team Italy?

– We won because we are younger. But I want to express my deep respect to the Italian ladies. They are in such good shape at such an age – it deserves respect! The way they play and still enjoy it is worthy of admiration.

– I noticed three Russian names on the roster of the Italian team.

– Yes, these are former players of the Russian team who moved to Italy, married and obtained permanent residency there. I think these names are known to water polo fans. I’m glad that Russian girls are everywhere.

– It is true that the Russian team shared its players to even the odds?

– You’re kidding! These athletes are known to the entire world. Some of them left 10 years ago, some of them 20 years ago. This story is not new.

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