The selection process remained the same, but the competition increased. We held qualifiers in many regions, and there were more people willing to participate. Previously, four teams came to participate in the selection to the “royal category”, but this year we had six. A lot of five-member units competed with each other. “Battle of the Nations” is very popular in Russia. For many young teams it is only a dream. They live with the thought of attending the Championship, especially in the remote regions, namely the Urals and Siberia. People living there dream to attend if not “Battle of the Nations”, then qualifying events at least. We’ve never had fighters from the Ural in the team, but there are a couple of young teams having high chances to join the National Team next year.
I hold qualifying events and see the general level of training. Armor changes, becomes of higher quality, new techniques and tactics appear. I think we’ve got something to show this year.
Traditionally, the most interesting opponents for us are Ukraine, Belarus, Poland, the USA and Italy. It was very interesting to talk to the Swiss team. We talked to their representatives at the last “Battle of the Nations”, motivated them to go. It will be interesting to see their level.
Our mood is traditional before departure. Everyone is preparing for the trip, some guys finish their armor. People worry, fuss. They wait for the trip the whole year, so their excitement is joyful. This year’s venue is a very nice place, all the participants want to see it.
Most fighters go with their wives, so many of our athletes will be supported by their families. But nowadays “Battle of the Nations” is tried to be attended by people having no relation to the movement. They write me and ask how to get to the Championship, they just want to relax and support our National Team. My sister will be with me, though she has nothing to do with the movement.
First of all, we’re going there to test ourselves, to see the level of training of our teams. Prizes are not very important. Of course, we want to win them, but it is not our main goal. Especially taking into account the first places vary greatly depending on the quality of the opponents. It’s two different things – to defeat a strong and to defeat a weak opponent.
captain of National team of Russia