Vladimir Maksimenko, Latvia: “It was our best “Battle of the Nations”

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Latvia

 

We liked the place, the organization, literally everything! We reached the venue easily, weren’t tired. We were very pleased by the way the organizers decided to put our camps. We thought, at first, there could be a lack of place for the camp, but everyone was comfortable and we got the best position. There was a marble pavilion nearby where our men dried their clothes and rested, water was nearby as well. We had time to swim. It was excellent.

 

In my opinion, our participation was good. For the first we attended the event as an independent national team, previously we fought for the Baltic States. Out of our three trips this one was, probably, the best. I’m very pleased with my men, even though we were not in a very strong group. There were young teams that participated for the first or second time at “Battle of the Nations.” We left the group without a defeat. Unfortunately, two fighters, including myself, had to stop participation then.

 

We did not think we could be defeated by Team Australia, but it happened. I think the battle against Australia was the hardest one, because it was an opponent you had to defeat, but when you failed you started worrying and thinking what was the reason… Since the Australians won, I believe they are nice guys.

 

It was hard to fight against Poland. And although we lost, I believe we competed well. We did not have any substitute fighters, but we showed a decent result, unlike last year…

 

I hope we will have substitute fighters next year, and then it’ll be easier for us to participate. I was wounded, and the guys lacked me. But they coped with the situation, I’m proud of them. I was ready to kiss them all!

 

We are very happy and now looking for sponsors for our further work. After the “Battle of the Nations”-2014 people constantly call me, offer some help. We’ll think how to promote the team. Ethnic Latvians have started to show interest, they’ve realized fighters do not kill each other at “Battle of the Nations”. Only one true Latvian was our fighter, now other indigenous guys join us. They help us as fighters and financially. Gym owners offer us discounts, people offer their ideas. This “Battle of the Nations” has given us a huge boost, more and more our fellow countrymen find out about us.

 

I have been engaged in fighting for seven years, I’ve been captain for three years. I develop the sport in Latvia, and there are positive results. But we want more. This year we had seven men, but we could take one more. Next year I want to have a situation when there are many fighters to choose from. I would like to choose the best guys, having at least two or three men for one place in the team. Probably, we would be able to form one more five-member team and send it to the event to get experience, not victories, and to help the first five-member team move further.

 

We want to beat Poland, for example, want to enter the top ten. Now we are on the twentieth place, and I believe that we have a good level as the one of the Czech Republic and France. We can compete with them. It’ll be interesting both for us and for them.

 

If we talk about other teams, we liked the way France fought. It was clear the guys knew what they did. They had trained properly, their training process was nice, they knew how to train, how to spend their time. And I won’t even mention the level of Russia, Ukraine and Poland, it goes without saying.

 

Vladimir Maksimenko,

captain of the National Team of Latvia

 

Interview by

Tatyana Nesterenko

HMBIA News

 

 

Latvia2

 

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