Natalya Martyanova: “The International Paralympic Tournament in Russia will give our team a chance to get to the main start of next year in Tokyo”
The leader of the Russian Paralympic team Natalya Martyanova frankly and often publishes her own view of everything that happens in her sports life on pages on social networks. Natalia has been actively reading and recently under her posts comments of various nature began to appear from the full acceptance of her point of view to explanations on the points in which the athlete is not right.
horsetimes talked with Natalia and found out what was happening in the Russian Paralympic world ahead of the Paralympic Games in Tokyo 2020.
horsetimes: Natalia, what is happening inside the Paralympic team, what do you write quite frank appeals to readers on social networks? Can an international tournament in the Russian Federation make a big difference?
Natalya Martyanova: A tournament in our country would be a way out. We took part in six starts. It was noticeable that in each country, participants in the host country received more points. Based on the results of all competitions, we do not have enough points in order to reach the ranking for a team place in the Paralympics in Tokyo. I believe that we need to do the tournament at home so that we have more chances.
horsetimes: You are quite frank in your posts, do not think that you can harm yourself with this?
Natalya Martyanova: I understand that it is interesting to a huge number of my subscribers, and most importantly - my example and my story motivates many people, as people write to me in private messages. Therefore, I try to write as much as possible in my posts about everything: about life, sports, training, tournaments and so on. I want to show that success is daily work, and not everything is always rosy and magical. There are difficulties, and there are many, especially before serious tournaments. And sometimes, just performing well and training is not enough. Now my only task is to attract attention and get the opportunity to qualify for the Games as a team. I have no other opportunity, except through social networks, to appeal to those who can help.
horsetimes: During the European Championships on Para-Dressage, you published the news that you are leaving the national team, which was removed after some time. What was it?
Natalya Martyanova: It was an impulsive decision on my part. Pressure was put on me. Our head coach did not know that at the European Championship, points from only one ride go to the team rating. And the main goal was to earn the maximum number of points.
My parents supported me psychologically during the tournament. But even with such serious support, we had moments of misunderstanding and disagreement within the team.
These six starts, which we drove to earn points in the team rating, could go only those who allowed the financial situation. That is, the state allocated funds for one start of the season. This was not enough. It was decided to take me as a strong athlete at public expense, the rest should all have taken shape. Therefore, those leaders who spoke at the Russian Championship did not go to Europe. Most of our difficulties are limited to financing.
horsetimes: If you are offered a horse of good quality to perform at the next starts, will you take this chance?
Natalya Martyanova: Of course, the more horses licensed for the Paralympic Games, the better. Much can happen and always need a fallback. But it is not so simple. I have been working with the horses with whom I played this season for several years, and I prepared them myself from scratch, both horses are young. A horse for qualification should have a huge number of positive qualities: three correct gaits, cooperation with a rider, and most importantly, to be with the right base. This means going on occasion and moving through the back, doing well the simplest things that seem simple at first glance - transitions and stops. And most importantly, we must have a relationship with the horse in such a short period of time, this is a rather difficult task.
horsetimes: What are the points for getting to the Paralympic Games?
Natalya Martyanova: The greatest number of points scored at any two starts of the season are added up and make up the team rating.
It is worth noting that during the preparation of this interview, information appeared that after long discussions with the leadership of the Ministry of Sports of the Russian Federation, the Central Committee of the Russian Federation, the Paralympic Committee of Russia and the Federation of PODA of Russia, it was decided to hold not one, but two international tournaments in Russia at once. They will be held in early January 2020 at KSK Vivat Russia! And KSK Otrada.