The preparation for the Cup of Ageev brothers and the Olympic champions Yuri Postrigay and Alexander Dyachenko is well under way!
Canoe Sprint competitions are postponed and canceled, but not the Ageev Cup. The organisers are going to arrange a sport event despite the closing of borders and other restrictions. Their plan is to gather rowers from 50 countries at the Cup, add new disciplines to the program and hold a water battle between the kayak four and the rowers four.
We offer to your attention an interview with Alexander Ageev, who answered the questions of CanoeSport and told how the preparations for the competitions are going, what difficulties have to be overcome and what can be expected from the anniversary Cup.
Where and when are you going to hold competitions this year?
This year is the anniversary of the Cup, it will be held for the twentieth time and together with Olympic champions Yuri Postrigay and Alexander Dyachenko, our Cup will be held for the fourth time. Competitions have always been held in August or September, it will be the same now. We have chosen the dates from August 28th to August 30th. The cup will be held in Moscow, at the Krylatskoye rowing canal.
Two days of competitions will be all-Russian, and the third one will be international. Although... on the second day we will do a 200-meter MIX in kayak-pairs for veterans, active athletes and juniors. International athletes have been invited to take part, so, we may say, the event will be international for a day and a half.
The program includes a race of kayaks and canoes doubles 200 meters and fours on 500 meters, 200 meters for SUP, 100 meters for SUPERSPINT, 650 meters SUPERFORCE for singles and 200 meters for MIX in pairs... We believe that it will be interesting and varied. There are new interesting solutions, we are preparing hard for the Cup and hope that everything will be according to the plan.
What is the probability that the Ageev Cup will take place, given the pandemic?
Coronavirus has hit all sectors including sports. There are problems, something can be canceled, not everything here depends on us.
From our part, we have decided to prepare for the competition as usual, to the maximum. Preparation is going on according to the plan, we have ordered cups, medals, gifts. The team is engaged in promotion of competitions in order to popularize our sport in this way. We are actively working with the Moscow Sports Department and the Moscow Sports and Spectacular Events Department. Competitions are included in the official ICF calendar.
Has the International Canoe Federation included you in the official calendar since this year?
Yes. The president of the Russian Canoe Federation, Evgeny Arkhipov, kindly helped us in this matter and signed a letter for the ICF. The position of the country is important for the international federation, so we are grateful to Evgeny Arkhipov for his support. It’s great that the Federation appreciated our contribution to the development of sports and is ready to help us.
For us, this Cup is a huge leap forward. As well as for our country. And for the federation, because everyone is concerned about the promotion of kayaking and canoeing, and this is what we are trying to do while introducing new disciplines and distances.
How many countries are you going to invite this year? Do you think coronavirus will not stop athletes from arriving?
We are actively working in this direction and we are grateful to CanoeSport for the help in inviting foreign athletes. It is very important. Every year more and more world-class athletes learn about our Cup. We are getting great reviews and trying to keep up and meet expectations.
We have set an ambitious goal: to gather the whole world. Unfortunately, the current situation imposes some limitations.
In many countries, Russian visa centres are not working and it is impossible to apply for a visa. They say that from August 1st easing of some restrictions is expected and 17 countries will probably open. For us it is very important.
If we gain support of the Department of Sports and Spectacular Events in Moscow, then applying for a visa will take only 1 hour. Then we will be able to wait for the opening of visa centres till the last and receive athletes.
We are grateful to our partners, CanoeSport, Alexander Dyachenko, and Yuri Postrigay for the inviting the top world rowing stars to the Cup. If there are no additional restrictions and force majeure, we will be able to gather athletes from more than 50 countries. They have stated their willingness and are ready for the race. The most important thing is for the planes to fly and visas to be issued.
Thus, competitions are in demand, there is interest in them. We are preparing, waiting, feeling worried and hope that everything will be at the highest level.
What stars can you name among potential participants of the Cup? Who has already agreed to come?
The silver medalist of the Olympic Games in Rio, Maxim Beaumont, confirmed his participation in the Cup a long time ago. He is able to compete for the main prize in the Super Sprint of 100 meters. By the way, this year we have added another Super Sprint, for stayers. It will be a 650 meter race. Maxim’s usual races are 200 meters and 1000 meters, so it will be interesting for him to take part in both disciplines.
There will be no athletes from England at the Cup, they were prohibited to come. But among the participants there will be such rowing stars as Fernando Pimenta, Carlos Garrote, Saul Сraviotto, Ronald Rauhe, Tom Liebscher, Dora Luch, Marina Litvinchuk and many others. Belarusian and Ukrainian rowers are ready to come to the competition in full force.
Political disagreements lose their strength where there is sport because it unites people. And we want to be one of those who prove it. Our task is to ensure that there is an effective competition and only the strongest win. We want to give athletes the opportunity to participate in a fair fight, and children to see the competition, cheer up the athletes, watch the beautiful rowing, which can be different, but always very strong.
How will the competitions be broadcast?
We are currently negotiating with Match TV and Eurosport. We hope that everything will be fine and the race will be shown on these channels live. We have many media partners. And this is also a very important thing for the popularisation of our sport.
What about money prizes?
As I’ve said, this year we will add a new distance, 650 meters, and there is a big prize. At a distance of 100 meters there will also be a big money prize.
In general, no one will be offended, because we have prepared gifts for everyone. Foreign athletes will receive memorable gifts. By the way, at the World Cup the first three or four athletes are awarded, but we are going to have 8 athletes who will receive money prizes. We will give memorable gifts to all the foreigners.
Is it true that you are going to arrange a battle between rowers and a kayakers?
Yes, we have a dream to make a 500-meter race between the rowing boat four and the kayak four. It will be kind of a show.
Rowers are our friends, we come across with them constantly on the water and on TV. They row forward with their backs, we row forward with our faces. Different conflicts sometimes occur on the water and we have decided to convert these conflicts into an effective competition.
We have already agreed it with the President of the Russian Federation on rowing, Alexei Vladimirovich Svirin. He has supported our idea.
The champions of Russia, the winners of the 2019 Cup, Roman Anoshkin, Kirill Lyapunov, Vladislav Litovka and Vladislav Blintsov will be racing with the academics. They will represent the Kayaking and Canoeing Federation. The kayak challenged the academy and the challenge was accepted. It'll be cool!
Rowers shortest distance is 2 km, they do not have races of 500 meters. But this is a challenging distance for them. Thus, we help them to develop and open new horizons.
I am grateful to the president of the rowing federation for the cooperation. This year they have even given us their dates and moved their important competitions to the weekdays. This is a huge step forward. We want to work together to develop our two sports. Although the federations are different, but this is all rowing.
Will there be spectators at the competition?
This year we will not invite spectators to the competition, because we worry about their health and the health of the Cup participants. However, thanks to live broadcasts, a large audience will be able to watch the race.
Take this opportunity and invite athletes to the Cup!
Friends! Now it is the time when you want to race, and there are few competitions in the world, many are canceled. We will do everything for the Cup to take place, we will agree for any conditions that the Ministry of Sports will stipulate. We just want the celebration to take place.
We invite all rowers without selection from all over Russia and from all countries to the competitions. We guarantee that you will have a wonderful time, we haven’t forgotten about the prizes and we will do our best to organize the event at a high level. If you don’t have a crew, we’ll help you with that.
From year to year the number of participants is growing and we are proud of it. We present this fact to the ministers as evidence that rowing and canoeing is in demand. By the way, many officials will be at the Cup because they want to help our sport develop. We must show them that the athletes are strong and motivated. People who burn with their dream to win are always successful in life and in any kind of activity.
See you at the Cup! Official website of the competition: https://aaacup.ru/
Alexander Ageev and Sergey Medvedev special for CanoeSport.