Vladimir Leonov explained why the Kazan Olympics can only be talks at the moment
The Ministry of Sports of Tatarstan has announced the main sports competitions that the republic will host this year. An unprecedented number of different water tournaments await Kazan. The republic’s Sports Minister Vladimir Leonov said that if the long-awaited volleyball world championship will take place, whether the city will bid for the Olympics in 2036 during a briefing at the Government House. Read more about this in Realnoe Vremya’s report.
New aquatic program
Sports Minister Vladimir Leonov began his speech by congratulating Olympians from Tatarstan who had recently won medals: Victor Wild who won bronze in parallel giant slalom and Leninogorsk-born Danil Sadreyev who won silver in jumping on skis. “He is the youngest competitor. More competitions are coming, hopefully they will bring us medals,” noted the head of the Ministry of Sports.
After that, he is expected to move on to discussing his favorite water sports. Vladimir Leonov himself enjoys spending time in the pool, while work with FINA has become Tatarstan’s main area in the global expansion of the sport.
“You know that we have been working with different international sports federations since 2015 and even earlier. FINA is one of them. This year there will be a lot of aquatic events, different interesting formats. The management has changed there (Editor’s note: Al-Musallam from Kuwait has replaced the Uruguayan Julio Maglione, 85). This is why this year FINA is trying out new event formats and then combining them. A FINA Artistic Swimming World Series stop and the FINA Diving World Series stop will take place at the Aquatic Palace at the same time in April.
“For us, the opportunity to organize two world stages at the same time is a good opportunity to test ourselves before the 2024 European Championships and the FINA World Championship, which will take place again in Kazan in 2025. We have the best water site in the country, and it’s an interesting experience for us,” Leonov reminded us.
Later, the sports minister of the republic reminded the public that the Junior World Championship will be held at the Aquatic Palace in 2022. While the Short Course World Championships will become the crowning glory of the annual program. This competition will become the first international tournament after the lifting of our country’s “anti-doping ban” in December.
“It’s a very serious tournament, all juniors, that is to say, the future of world swimming will come here in Kazan. These guys will come to us for the world championship in three years. They will understand firsthand what Kazan, Tatarstan, Russia is. I mean this is a tournament for the future. So, in the end, we will organize four and maybe five events in Kazan within the framework of the cooperation with FINA. It’s unheard of!” Vladimir Leonov concluded.
2036 Olympics and Kazan: still nothing specific
We will say in advance that today’s burning issue probably came up at the briefing as well – the bid for the 2036 Summer Olympics in Kazan. However, as we know, the Russian Olympic Committee is not in an ideal situation: our country is still seeing sanctions imposed by the IOC, while the national team is now competing in Beijing without its flag and its anthem under the flag of the Russian Olympic Committee. .
The Kazan Olympics are therefore only talks, the republic’s sports minister reminded us. In fact, the journalists did not receive any precise information on this subject. This was just the next “pact of intentions”.
“We talked about this a long time ago: today Kazan is a very famous place on the sports map. We have particularly shone in the past 10 years. This is why we look to the future. Today I already said that we work with many federations, they trust us. But we would like to host the Olympic Games more. We know that the Olympic Games are scheduled in advance, so there is a desire to host the Youth Olympic Games: we are ready for that, there are infrastructures. We discussed it with the Olympic Committee and the Russian Minister of Sports, Oleg Matytsin, made a series of statements. Unfortunately, today our country is where it is. We have certain restrictions to submit applications until the end of the year, that’s why now we can just talk,” Tatarstan’s sports minister replied.
He also stressed the need to agree with the federal center on such a serious issue as funding.
“We have a great desire, of course. But in any case it should not be only our desire. There must be an opinion at all levels as government guarantees are needed when applying for such competitions. Therefore, if they believe us and trust us, we will fight. Anyway, there will be a big competition, we are not alone. But this issue will be discussed earlier next year.
International judo returns to Kazan, while Uram will be fully utilized
It turned out that one of the Judo Grand Slam stages will move from Paris to Kazan in the next few years. By the way, Tatarstan judoka Niyaz Bilalov won bronze medals five years ago. The reason for the cancellation of the competition in France is prosaic: the pandemic and epidemiological situation in the country.
“Due to the epidemiological situation, this tournament in Paris was canceled, and they had to move it somewhere. As we have good relations with the international federation – we hosted the Universiade and then several tournaments (Editor’s note: Kazan has hosted the European Championships at Tatneft Arena in May 2016), they offered us to host this tournament. We signed a three-year contract, and now we will host this competition at Tatneft Arena,” said Leonov and noted that after the Grand Slam, Kazan could apply for a world championship.
The Sports Minister also mentioned the upcoming City Games that Kazan has hosted in the past two years. The competition is not yet international, it is Russian. Kazan is just going to apply for world-class tournaments. Prizes in “youth” sports are usually awarded in such competitions – 3×3 basketball, training, BMX freestyle, roller sports, skateboarding and breakdancing.
Leonov promised that surprises would be prepared for the competitors during the 3rd Games.
“You know how popular Uram is, especially during high season. But now we also opened the inner room. Therefore, we want to fill this place with Russian and international competitions. We are just in talks about international tournaments. But to cement and accumulate experience, we agreed to host these competitions. We understand that this place should be used as much as possible.
Kazan renews the volleyball center
The 2022 FIVB Men’s Volleyball World Championship will become another major international competition in which Kazan is involved. Much has been said if Russia would have this tournament after the ban. However, the International Volleyball Federation insisted and on September 10, Russian cities will host the World Championship among the best teams in the world.
“You know how people love volleyball here: it’s one of the most popular sports in the republic today. We have renowned teams, both male and female. Volleyball develops from the perspective of young players. Yekaterina Gamova school works, there is a school league, students play volleyball. Today, volleyball is one of the leading sports of our republic. And of course, we are happy that our city has been entrusted with the organization of such a tournament with 10 cities. We will host six matches, more, not from the first stage but from the second stage, the teams that qualify will come, and it will be one of the best national teams.
In addition, the sports minister of the republic mentioned the work carried out at the volleyball center where the world championship matches will be held.
“We have updated the volleyball center. We fixed it, increased the seating capacity, placed extra screens, repaired the space under the stands… It may seem like a new place, but it opened 10 years ago. We breathe new life and renovated it.
What else will take place in Tatarstan this year?
- Apart from major competitions, Tatarstan is preparing to host the FISU Rugby Sevens University World Cup. Kazan is against the establishment of work with FISU, he has been in close contact since the Universiade. The matches will take place in Tulpar. 8 men’s and 8 women’s national teams will play here.
- The Yeltsin Cup ITF junior tennis tournament will be held again.
- Rhythmic Gymnastics Championship of Russia.
- Two Russian Synchronized Swimming Championships will be held at the Aquatic Palace in April. A qualification for the World Championship will also take place there.
- Russian Shooting Championship.
- Russian Athletics Championship.
- Kuresh World Championship in the village of Menger.
- Russian athletics tournament in Kazan.
- Russian Triathlon Championship in Almetievsk.
- Russian rowing and canoeing tournament.