What advantages Russian athletes will get from Asian Cup

If FISU doesn’t allow Russians to compete in Chengdu, we will go to Hangzhou

What advantages Russian athletes will get from Asian Cup
Photo: realnoevremya.ru

Russia will participate in the Summer Asian Games in China. The competition will take place in Hangzhou from 23 September to 8 October, up to 500 Russian and Belarusian athletes will compete there. And this is good news, thinks journalist of Realnoe Vremya’s sports staff Jaudat Abdullin.

We’re going eastwards!

The message about the participation of Russians and Belarusians in the Asian Games in China was published in Inside the Games that said that such a decision was made at a meeting of the general assembly of the Asian Olympic Committee.

Athletes from Russia and Belarus will compete as neutral athletes and out of competition. It is also said that Russians and Belarusians’ successful performance will help them qualify for the 2024 Olympics in Paris.

Of course, this is a big victory of Russian sports diplomacy if there is any, which we doubt. Also because the Russian Ministry of Sport didn’t even manage to “sell” this success in the mass media some of those specialised in sport had a negative reaction to the news. Though it was served with a certain sauce, it could at least make patriotic fans happy. But they are obsessed with the absence of the flag and the anthem, while “Russophobes” together with “experts’” comments buried this news in negativity.

A banal and primitive explanation of the necessity of competing in the Asian Games is on the surface: athletes need to compete alternating competitions and training. Moreover, the sports classification is so that international competitions are needed to award titles and sports allowances. Last year, this gap was hardly filled with the Solidarity Games and the Spartakiade of the Strongest, but there is nothing this year. Moreover, our situational partners, while only Belarus can be called a real ally in the current situation, sharply caught changes in the sports situation. Earlier, they were ready to use planes, cars, ships and even walk to Russian competitions, only an invitation was needed. Now it is very hard and much more expensive to replace this shortage of international competitions with some domestic ones. The same situational partners put forward riders comparable to requirements of global pop music starts in reply to an invitation to take part in our competitions. In other words, earlier Russia used to spend money only on itself, now it “has to” bring, accommodate, feed and award a number of countries so that they condescend to offer us competition.

Last year, this gap was hardly filled with the Solidarity Games and the Spartakiade of the Strongest, but there is nothing this year. Photo: realnoevremya.ru

If we look back at history, this was the total loss of the USSR when instead of competing in the Olympics in Los Angeles in 1984, the unprofessional sports management of the country of that era boycotted the Games in the USA splashing out money on the replacement in the person of the 1984 Friendship competition, and two years later it splashed out again hosting the absolutely useless Goodwill Games on its territory fully at its own expense.

Who needs this medal table?

Now The Asian Olympic Committee allows our athletes to compete quite unexpectedly. The one who cares about the absence of the medal table can feel easy. Out of competition means out of team medal table, in other words, our athletes’ medals won’t be summed up, so everybody competes individually, not for the Russian Olympic Committee or something like this. Then, the familiarisation with the history of sport of our country, first of all, helps us again. The 1979 Summer USSR Spartakiade, which became international, was held in Moscow in 1980.

If interested, one can have a look at the results of that Spartakiade that often used to have two tables, one with the results with foreigners, the other — with the results of Soviet athletes only. By the way, even those countries that later completely boycotted the Olympics arrived the, since Soviet troops entered Afghanistan in December 1979, which became a reason for Americans and Canadians, Japanese and South Koreans. But they did compete at the Spartakiade in 1979. Moreover, an American volleyball development project that kicked off two years earlier to prepare for the 1984 Olympics didn’t cut contracts with the Soviet Volleyball Federation in either 1980 or 1983 when Soviet air defence hit a South Korean Boeing and the world was on the edge of a nuclear war. The USSR and USA exchanged notes of protest, national teams of the USSR and USA exchanged tournaments played because it was profitable for Americans and turned out to be absolutely justified because of the medals they won at the Olympics at home.

If the International Badminton Federation doesn’t want to let Russia compete in the World Championship in Denmark in August, why Dzhedzhula and her teammates cannot play at the Pan-Arab Games for “completion fairness and safety of athletes.” Photo: realnoevremya.ru

Why do “scared patriots” dictate the agenda for federal mass media?

A story unearthed by ex-Match TV journalist Sergey Lisin about the participated of Russian athletes at the Pan-Arab Games and spread by federal mass media can be added to the same box. The “scared patriot” who escaped to Cyprus tracked the participation of Russian athletes at the Pan-Arab Games as team Syria, which caused a big number of unreasonable criticism. By the way, badminton player from Tatarstan Daria Dzhedzhula is among the competitors. Without going into details, I want to say that since the competition itself hasn’t been recognised by the IOC, the so-called sports citizenship and both sides’ consent, that of the inviting federation and the invited athletes, are enough. Both wrestling disciplines, freestyle wrestling and Greco-Roman wrestling, figure skating and many other sports practise similar transfers from one national team to another. If the International Badminton Federation doesn’t want to let Russia compete in the World Championship in Denmark in August, why Dzhedzhula and her teammates cannot play at the Pan-Arab Games for “completion fairness and safety of athletes.”

But it is not up to Lisin who ran away from Russia to track Russians’ side jobs, he’d rather be interested in Cyprus he chose as place of residence. But the “so-called” federal sports journalism couldn’t have been caught by similar provocations. It could if it was just a bit independent. Only Tatarstan celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Kazan University Games with its money, though the Russian Ministry of Sport was ready to back this jubilee. But it seems that the Russia Ministry of Sport and Vice Premier Dmitry Chernyshenko who supervises this sector are very powerless now and forgetful now. The once-president of the Organising Committee of the Olympics and Paralympics in Sochi in 2014 was so nervous during his report delivered to President of Russia Vladimir Putin that completely forgot about the BRICS Games, SOC Games, 2nd Games of CIS Countries. Like Russia now forgot the Universiade, like it is a thing of the past.

A team of Russians as potential members of “refugee team” is made up

Hosting the 2023 Asian Games, China provides Russians and Belarusians a site for competition, like it was ready to do at the Summer Universiade at Chengdu this August. But there won’t be any Russians there: no athletes, no coaches, no referees, no delegates. China is not against, FISU is, an organisation its ex-chairman Matytsin left in a state of open Russophobia. Perhaps, this is why they refused to celebrate the jubilee of the Universiade, so that nobody will remind them about the total fiasco of sports university diplomacy, God save.

Other news, unfortunately, will break the quite an optimistic picture of the past week related to the potential participation in the Asian Games. Former son-in-law of President of the Russian Olympic Committee Stanislav Pozdnyakov fencer Konstantin Lokhanov is now with his two colleagues from the fencing team in the USA, the spouses Sergey Bida and Violetta Khrapina. They competed at the US national (it is strange that Lisin didn’t react in this respect, while federal mass media didn’t repeat it after).

Bida competed in an international tournament hosted at the Gymnastics Centre in Kazan as early as late March. Photo: realnoevremya.ru

ida competed in an international tournament hosted at the Gymnastics Centre in Kazan as early as late March, Khrapina won a tournament in Moscow in January and now they are gone and didn’t promise to come back. Moreover, Bida’s mum — Yelena Grishina — also works on Match TV, what a problem. The whole family is great in general, but we won’t enumerate all grandparents and uncles — heroes of Soviet sport, unlike his mum we aren’t responsible for the education of the another “scared patriot.” Here the questions go to the Ministry of Sport, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and all high-ranking representatives of agencies that love to more around athletes during victories: you understand that in a year Russian athletes will compete in competitions whose existence Chernyshenko now painfully tried to remember, while athletes who escaped with Russian passports, signed all papers satisfying the IOC will compete at the Olympics in Paris.

Jaudat Abdullin

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The author’s opinion does not necessarily coincide with the position of Realnoe Vremya’s editorial board.