German coach Wolfgang Pichler is satisfied with the performance of the Russian women’s team at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
In an interview with Sovetsky Sport, he said ‘it wasn’t a bad result’ and added that you can’t become a biathlon star at 20.
However, he also admitted Russia doesn’t have biathlon geniuses like Darya Domracheva, from Belarus, or Martin Fourcade, from France.
Pichler is set to stay with Russia till the end of the season, the online news agency Lenta.ru quoted Sergey Kushchenko, executive director of the Russian Biathlon Union, as saying.
The statement was made amid a wave of criticism targeting the Pichler who was hired in 2011 to offer a new level of training for women.
In particular, one of the biathletes, Olga Glazyrina, blamed Pichler for part of her troubles.
Biathlon is very popular in Russia, and a lot of effort went into reviving the glory of the Russian women in this sport.
Mikhail Prokhorov, a Russian billionaire and the president of the Russian Biathlon Federation, has been under a lot of pressure to lick the team into shape for the 2014 Sochi Games.
Earlier, Russia-IC reported that the German coach was expected to leave the national team after the Olympics.
In an interview with Sovetsky Sport, the German coach deflected the criticism, pointing out the Russian female team took silver in the 4*6km relay.
Yana Romanova and Ekaterina Shumilova struggled to get qualified, no-one thought they were promising, but they got silver, he told the sports newspaper.
This trophy is widely seen as important for the women’s team after a series of doping scandals on the eve of the Sochi Olympics, robbing the team of its leader, Irina Starykh.
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Author: Mikhail Vesely