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With and without a crossbow: athletes told us about their life in quarantine.


This spring the news about the cancellation of the most top competitions shocked the world of professional sport. This negative impact of COVID-19, unfortunately, has also affected the sports plans of the International Crossbow Shooting Union. Safety of sportsmen always comes first for the IAU, so the IAU Executive Committee made a difficult decision to prematurely close the international competition calendar for the current year. Our athletes told us about their pastime during this quarantine period, about their home trainings and new hobbies.

Valentina Pereglin (Croatia):

“The first case of COVID-19 infection in Croatia was reported at the end of February and few weeks later all of us were in quarantine. When everyone worried for their loved ones and themselves, for health, jobs, and so on, Zagreb was hit by the strongest earthquake in the last 140 years. We had a little over 2000 confirmed cases of COVID-19. I must emphasize that most of the people adhered to social distancing measures and that is why the number of confirmed cases is not higher. The situation is better now. Since Coronavirus appeared in Croatia at the end of February, it was still cold outside to practice crossbow shooting on 35, 50 and 65 meters. Considering the weather it was only possible to practice Indoor on 18 meters which I usually do in the shooting hall 2 kilometers from my place, but no one was allowed to practice there. Social distancing measures are not strict anymore, and the weather is sunny and warm in Croatia (with occasional rain and wind), so we started to practice outside on 35, 50 and 65 meters. Not so often as we would train if the crossbow shooting season is normal, because there is a little lack of motivation. I wanted to do something positive in that period so I started doing yoga again, read books, started reading a book in the Russian language since I want to expand my knowledge of Russian, watched movies and series, and the most important, did some great things with my favorite IAU team. Although there are no competitions this year, IAU is still working very hard on the development and on our apply to GAISF, a world recognized organization which promote sport at every level and in every corner of the world. There is still a lot of work to do, but we are optimistic and full of strength“- told the two-time world champion, the European champion, the winner of the World Cup final in crossbow shooting, the current holder of the title «The best crossbow shooter of the year» in “Field” division.

Karolina Hynkova (Czech Republic):

“The biggest problem with Coronavirus is that nobody expected it could be so dangerous. It was the 11th of March when I was at school and my teacher told us that the universities were going to be closed. And then everything happened so quickly. Nobody could go out. Everybody was afraid. Life changed here. People started to spend more time together. They tried to keep in touch with their families and friends. We didn´t train during Coronavirus crisis but every shooter tried to keep a good shape. I think this period was somehow difficult for everybody. Most of the time I spent with my puppy, parents, and grandparents. I was cooking, reading books, watching movies and doing homework. My friends made me start running and resting. International competitions are something special. They have good atmosphere and are so much fun. And I miss all the people I can meet there” - said the four–time Czech Republic champion in crossbow shooting.

Linda Mantsurova (Russia, Khabarovsk region):

“As for me, the period of self-isolation was not that difficult, it was just completely different, unusual. But I quickly managed to adapt to it. So, I kept fit at home. You see, all training facilities throughout the whole country were closed and happily I had everything necessary for this at home. Important fact is that during this time I even managed to lose weight! Yes, yes, two kilograms! (laughs) At first, when the restrictions were involved, I had so many tasks that I didn’t even have enough time for all my classes! Books, films, series, sports, some household chores, webinars in English - I tried to grasp the immensity. (laughs) Now the weather has improved, it's warmer and I manage to train with a crossbow. I have a target in my country house, and now I maintain my shooting form, although not at long distances. At the beginning of the year, of course, there were big plans for this summer but the situation has changed. Most of all I miss friends and colleagues from other countries, the IAU international tournaments are always about a great celebration of sport, communication and friendship of peoples. I'd like to meet with everyone as soon as possible, to talk and, of course, to compete! - shared her emotions the first ever winner of the Crossbow Shooting World Cup Final in Field division. Vepa Sahedov (Turkmenistan): “Crossbow shooting in Turkmenistan is very popular, there are a lot of people who want to visit the classes in the crossbow section. Since there was no outbreak of COVID-19 in our country, classes and trainings took place daily as usual. During this period we even managed to hold city competitions. At the moment we do our best to close all documentary issues as soon as possible and officially join International Crossbow Shooting Union. IAU tournaments are always a big celebration for me and an incredible experience! ” - summed up the winner of the 20th World Crossbow Championship in “Guests” category.

Valentina Protasova (Russia, The Republic of Buryatia):

“Training grounds and shooting galleries were closed during the period of restrictive measures. Home conditions made it possible to keep fit, do general physical training and pay attention to technical issues. It turned out to be a very busy period for me in terms of self-development, work and household chores. So, the work temporarily got a remote status, the training process continued in a new format and my eldest daughter and me finished together the fourth studing quarter in the gymnasium on distance learning. I took part in major webinars in the field of physical education and sport. We also made repairs and updated the interior in the shooting gallery where the children of my sports school are training. And, of course, the time spent with the family is priceless! I hope that the pandemic story will end as soon as it began. And we'll all see each other again at the IAU tournaments. Take care of yourself and your loved ones!" - said multiple world champion in rifle shooting and crossbow shooting in «Match» division.

Chandra Mohan Tiwari (India):

“The pandemic situation of COVID-19 is not good. Confirmed cases of infected people grow everyday but we also have 50-60% recovered ones. Though the death ratio is low now but the situation is still serious and people should take care of themselves by using a mask, a sanitizer and strictly adhering to social distancing. I hope soon we all get some relief from this situation. Trainings started in June and slowly the training process is going back to normal. Some shooters still haven`t started now but other athletes already have trainings observing safety measures. So, yes, we can say trainings have stated but not in the flow” – told the main coach of the Indian national crossbow shooting team.

Andrej Krstinic (Croatia):

“Luckily I spend my two week isolation at home and, you see, I live on the island in a small place so we could go out. Moreover, the bridge to the island was closed so nobody from outside could come. Thus, we were coronavirus free island. So, we could go outside and I had a chance to train. Of course, I was so disappointed by the decision of the cancelling all the international competitions for this year, as it was made end of March and our international season starts at the end of June and the European championship supposed to be at the end of August... which was enough time to postpone such a decision at least till the beginning of May if we knew that corona wave lasted 70 days.. Anyway, it was made based on the all cancelations like Olympic games in Tokyo and football European championship. For me personally, it was not a hard period because we had nice weather that time in Croatia and I spend it outside. I was driving a bike around the island and did some nice routes in nature driving 20 to 50 kilometers a day and I enjoyed it. So, we can say that bicycling and running is my new hobby. I hope next year will be more optimistic and I hope we will have an organizer of the world championship and other international competitions!” – said the triumphant of the 20th World Crossbow Championship in “Field” division, the winner of 4 gold medals out of 5 possible.