Official website of 16th FINA World Masters Championships 2015 in Kazan

Azat Kadyrov: The Masters participants considered themselves equal to elite athletes in Kazan

19.08.2015, 16:00 Interviews
Director General of the Executive Directorate for Sports Projects, Azat Kadyrov, took questions from the Press Office of the Kazan 2015 Organising Committee and named key factors of the successful delivery of the FINA World Championships in Kazan. He also shared his ideas regarding the reason for numerous world records that were set both by participants of the main event and the Masters tournament.

– The 16th FINA World Championships and the 16th FINA Masters Championships have been held in one host city for the first time in the FINA history and almost simultaneously.  What do you think about this kind of experiment?

– I think we should all thank the FINA Family for this wonderful idea. First of all many Masters tournament participants had a chance to attend the FINA World Championships where they could truly enjoy the performances of the top athleteы of modern times. Second of all, nothing new was installed and prepared for the Masters tournament, the same venues were used, the same panel of judges was involved, the same services were rendered at the Masters tournament. There have been no difference in terms of services provided to professional and Masters athletes. As a result, we received a lot of positive feedbacks. You know I even have a feeling that the Masters tournament participants considered themselves equal to elite athletes in Kazan these days. Taking everything I’ve mentioned above into consideration, I can say that the idea of bringing together two consecutive championships at one place, at one time was quite good. I am also inclined to believe that the FINA Family wouldn’t mind putting that into practice during further competitions.

– Renowned athletes who currently compete at the World Masters Championships admit in their interviews that the main reason why they decided to come to Kazan is the fact that the host city, Kazan, has earned a good reputation in the global sports community.

– I believe it may be so. Among the Masters tournament participants usually there are former professional athletes, Olympic medallists and world champions. I admit that Kazan nowadays is a very famous and strong city on the international sports scene. The World Aquatics Championships with the audience of 4 bln people and many-hours-long live broadcasts proves this fact. The athletes seem to like visiting Kazan over and over again.

Over the last few days I had a few talks with some officials of the International Sports Federations. Each and every of them spoke very highly of the top-class management of the event. It made me feel really proud!

– As far as I know a great number of big-name athletes competing at the Masters tournament has given only positive feedback on the organisation in general. Having competed a lot, they seem to have a point. Aren’t you surprised that lots of famous athletes participate in the Masters tournament in Kazan?

– Not at all! Personally I expected more of them to come, all of them would have been properly greeted and accommodated (smiles). The number of 3,000 athletes seems to be a bit less than we hoped to face. I guess it is due to some changes taking place in the tournament’s scheduling. Before now the World Masters Championships were held only in the even-numbered year, whereas this year turns out to be the consecutive year in the delivery of these Championships. I believe that is the reason why we’ve come across this sort of shortage of the entrants this year although all of them are quite renowned and distinguished. I am 100% sure the domestic World Masters Championships will give rise to the development of this sport movement in Russia. After all, about 1,200 participants of the tournament represent our country. Even talking to our compatriots who have visited the tournament of this high profile for the first time, you may resume that they are charged with positive emotions that reign at the sports venues and they are ready to take part in the upcoming World and European Masters Championships which are held in Budapest and London, respectively. We encourage Kazan citizens and visitors not only to go swimming to keep fit, but to achieve results, improve skills under a coach’s guidance.

– Do you realise that since the first test event ahead of the Summer Universiade in Kazan, an entire generation of fans has been brought up? Now they are well versed in sports and are quite capable to admire the beauty of a game, to see its esthetics.

– Certainly. We can see that people's mindset has changed since 2013. Every competition we host serves as an example of the fact that viewers in the stands now know how to cheer for participants. Now they do not just attend a competition, but immerse themselves in the game, giving credit to the mastery of top athletes of modern times who perform in our city from time to time. I am sure they will keep on rooting for such leading teams of Kazan as Rubin football club, Ak Bars ice hockey club, Zenit and Dynamo Kazan volleyball clubs and UNICS basketball club, who host regular meets within their leagues.

– Both men and women managed to update world records within one tournament at the FINA World Championships in Kazan. It was for the first time within a long period. Some world records were set at the Masters competitions, too. Don’t you think that Kazan built lucky sports venues? What I’m saying is that athletes are very superstitious and pay much attention to such things.

– An interesting observation. It looks like the water in Kazan is magical and inspires participants of competitions for new achievements, world records (smiles). I think it is down to a good level of customer service. Athletes can focus on competitions, and we take care of the rest as all conditions are created for them to put hundred percent into their job and show their personal best. This is what happened in Kazan.

– Don't you think that athletes achieved so many records due to the fact that the Organising Committee has created an excellent emotional background for the athletes?

– Yes, I do think so (smiles). I guess the athletes will provide a more detailed feedback. 

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