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SALAVAT Rakhmetov talk to
Anna Piunova

Direct Interview for Mountain.RU


MR: Well, tell right from the beginning. Why did this sport draw you? Why did not you leave it and stay in it? Did the results turn out successful at once? Who were your first coaches?

S.R.: My older brother Kayrat was engaged in rock-climbing since 1978 and he brought me there. That time I was fond of track and field athletics, ran (distances 800-1500 meters), jumped at length a little. In 1984 I stopped to run on "horizontal" and began to run on "vertical". Practically from the first trainings I start to climb. In a year I won a championship of Alma-Ata and a championship of Kazakhstan. First my coach was V.A. Gorbunov, and approximately after one and a half of year training I went to Arhipov Sergey Markovich ("Spartak" team). I won't tell about the reason of this, but may be Ill write about that to the Memoirs (in 15-20 years).

Historical photo, approximately, 1988-89. Krasnoyarsk.
Irina Bakaleynikova, Kayrat Rakhmetov, Salavat Rakhmetov and John Mukhitov.

MR: How did you get to the combined team of the Soviet Union? What did that mean for you? Tell about the situation in mountaineering in those years, competitions, trainings.

S.R.: I won the 2nd place in climbing pair races in the championship of the USSR (Gagry, 1986), and was taken in the USSR combined team. That time the leaders were Chertov Alexey (Kaliningrad), Balezin Valery (Krasnoyarsk), Galiakbarov Raykhan (Sverdlovsk), etc. The competitions were carried on rocks, lines were open; it had a great value in what group you would start to climb. Even before the start you had to fight in a team to get in the best group (first third group was the best, then the second, then the first).

About trainings: in winter we paid more attention to physical training, on Saturdays and Sundays we left on rocks in the mountains (it took 30-40 minutes from the city). If the weather was bad I simply walked ascending Chimbulak or Tuyuk-Su (2300 m). During my serving in the armed forces (1986-1988, TSSKA Alma-Ata) I was engaged in mountaineering and nearly executed the first-class norms (without ascents on two mountains 4b and 5 graded). Every year on March, 23-30 we left on rocks in the river Ili area, in 100 km from Alma-Ata. In a warm season we usually climbed rocks, frequently went to the Crimea, and during such trips I tried to keep good shape-form, practically every day pull myself up on a board which I always carried with myself (the board was folding and fixed in a doorway).

The Crimea, 2004.

MR: Difficulty or bouldering?

S.R.: To tell the truth, I started to take part in bouldering events earlier, than in difficulty ones, my first starts were in 1986 on rocks of the river Ili, I do not remember exactly, but, it might have been the championship of Alma-Ata. The lines were set on 3-4 meters boulders.

In 1987 there was a demonstration bouldering starts in the championship of the USSR on the stones near "Krylo Lebedya (Wing of Swan)" rock (the Crimea) and already in 1988 they officially carried out bouldering event in the championship of the USSR on the stones under "Kastropol" wall (the Crimea) where I won the first place.

Till 1988 we competed in speed (pair races, individual climbing) and in Dombay Roped Couples.

The Crimea, 2004.

When the combined team of the USSR began to take part in World Climbing Cup events, in soviet rock-climbing reorganization started, everyone began to climb in difficulty, because in Europe practically all climbers climbed and competed in difficulty.

In the spring of 1989 in the championship of the USSR difficulty event was carried out in Nikita (the Crimea), and the same year Vershinin Michael bolted some lines on the Red stone. Then Frenchmen (one of them was Jacky Godoff) visited the Crimea and bolted some lines in Nikita too.

As to my changing specialization from difficulty to bouldering: there is a very high level of training of sportsmen nowadays. It is practically impossible to combine these two kinds of climbing because of their absolutely different physical strength; therefore I decided to compete in bouldering. First, I've been more successful in it; second, it goes very well with my climbing style (dynamics). It is easier to me to send short, but a very complex problem that require maximal forces than the long one (needed great endurance).

Italy, "Wild bouldering"

MR: What do you mean about the features of bouldering trainings?

S.R.: One of my trainings: 5-10min of jogging, good warm-up, a bit stretching;

I can send a problem of 30-40 moves (8 graded) for the beginning, rest 15 min, during rest I think out some problems, then I start to climb alternating simple lines with complex ones. I invent one or two lines impassable for me for that moment - and gradually, during the subsequent trainings I press for their sending without falls.

The character and technique of trainings depend on your tasks and your physical, technical form. I have described one of trainings at my certain training stage.

Russian Bouldering Cup, April, 9-11, 2004

MR: For many years you have occupy the leading positions in world rock-climbing rating. How do you manage to do that? (How do you cope with psychological weariness? And how do you keep your shape-form? What about your motivation?)

S.R.: Since 1989 as I began took part in international rock-climbing competitions, and till nowadays I keep in world ten leaders, in different kinds, first in speed, then in difficulty, and recently in bouldering. There were times when I had a bad rating: I had passed several starts (because of problems with getting visas, etc.). In the psychological factor my right attitude to my occupation helps me: I try to take pleasure in climbing process, instead of from result. Competitions are the main stimulus for trainings (and it does not matter what competition).

I used to like to compete when I was a child. I especially liked to surprise people making a trick (to climb on a roof in unusual way, climb from one tree on another not falling on the ground, hide in such nook that nobody could find me or not to drink water all the day long, when the temperature was about 30-degrees, probably, therefore now I am so wiry). But It seems to me I am getting off the point. Well, let's go further.

World Rock-climbing Championship, 2003, Chamonix, Bouldering, Final

MR: Would you give a piece of advice about competition starts: what, first of all, to pay attention on? How correctly to make up your mind?

S.R.: Psychological mood before the start is of great importance for me.

I have three category of it:

1. Global - in the beginning of the year I plan on what starts I will participate.

2. Concentrate on concrete competitions, approximately three weeks prior to the start all ideas and trainings aimed at this purpose, I try to leave household problems on the second plan.

3. Concentrate directly to start: correctly and in time to warm up, during start to try to think only about of the lines, to read them correctly and send first go.

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