Evgeniy Plekhov: "My decisions are now twice as important"

Many national teams have changed their head coaches after the Olympic season. Since May, Evgeniy Plekhov is the head coach of the Russian team. He and his new assistant Alexandr Garanin will prepare the team for the upcoming competitions.

Evegeniy Plekhov is 35 years old. He is a former ski jumper and made his debut on the international stage in 2002. In 2007 he achieved his best result with a third place in a Continental Cup event in Oberhof. A year later, Plekhov retired.

FIS Ski Jumping: Evgeniy, it was a long way from your career as an athlete to becoming the head coach of the national team. Please, tell us about this time.

Evgeniy Plekhov: I started my coaching career in 2011. Before that, I was working for the Sports Committee of Moscow. In 2011 I started coaching the B-team, two years later I became a member of the national team's coaching staff.

FIS Ski Jumping: Is there a big difference between the job as head coach and your last one?

Plekhov: Well, I can't say that there's a big difference or that my new job is much more difficult. Of course, I have more responsibility and my decisions are twice as important now.

FIS Ski Jumping: Last season, Evgeniy Klimov couldn't show the same good performances as he had in the previous years. Will it be possible to get him back in a really good shape again?

Plekhov: A lot of people ask me this question. Right now I don't want to talk about this. But I know one thing: The Olympic emotions, achievements, and failures are in the past, now it's time to work. In my team, there is no number one, two, three or so on. All the athletes are training together and have the same plans. The strongest athletes will then get the chance to compete.

FIS Ski Jumping: How is the preparation for the summer season going?

Plekhov: We had two training camps in Chaikovskiy, where the athletes made their first summer jumps. I would like to mention the good team spirit, the athletes help each other a lot. My goal right now is to see all the athletes from the national team, the B-team, and the junior's team. Since June 17th we are training in Nizhniy Tagil, then we'll return to Chaikovsky until July 1st. In addition, we are also thinking about training in the wind-tunnel. We have such a facility at the Moscow State University.

FIS Ski Jumping: What are your plans regarding the summer competitions? Is the Russian team going to compete only in the FIS Grand Prix or will the fans get the chance to see the athletes also in the FIS and Continental Cups?

Plekhov: That's a good question! We will have several competitions during training. After that, my assistants and I will choose the four best athletes who will then compete in the first COC and Grand Prix events.

Interview by:
Anastasia Shuhova