Nikolai Bykov, Estonia: “My dream has come true!”

15 Jul 2015 13:18

We participated in the event very well. Neither we nor our fans (and there were quite a lot of them in Russia and Ukraine, in Estonia) did not expect that we would be able to leave our subgroup. We lost only to the French, who took the tenth place in the overall lead. Unfortunately, our main fightersdid not participate in that battle, both of them had health problems. So, we had to use our substitute men.

Among our most exciting battles was the battle with Ukraine-2. We fought twice and the first time they relaxed a bit, underestimated us, but the second time they competed in full force, very seriously. We were very pleased, it gave us experience. We liked to fight!

It was not difficult. We defeated Europeans in one breath, only the French and Ukraine-2 beat us.

By the way, we communicated a lot with the guys from Ukraine-2, beyond the fighting process, they came to us and were very friendly. We liked them a lot! Traditionally we communicated with the Israelis, with Misha Morgulis. We always follow their achievements.

Another vivid impression was a friendly lesson taught by Russia-3 (“Bear Paw”, Nizhny Novgorod). “Friendly shaking” as we joked. It was a non-rating fight that was arranged for us by Artem Goryunov, Alexander Nikitin and Vitaly Gryzlov. After the award ceremony the guys went with us to the training lists. There were only three of us, and we got more impressions than within all rating battles. Even Ukraine-2 did not beat us so hard. My dream has come true! Now it is clear what we need to aspire to and how champions fight.

I almost did not see the town, spent all my time on the lists. It was important to observe participation of others, gain experience. I went there toparticipate in the Championship, not walk around the town. But Trogir is certainly a beautiful place. It was too hot there for us, people from the theNorth. And that was, perhaps, the toughest challenge as we were not accustomed to such climate. But we survived!

We were supported by many people, for example, our civil participants, who were quite numerous. But the brightest fans were other fighters. For example, guys from Kaliningrad (“Western Tower”) rooted for us. When we fought with Ukraine-2, among the cries “Ukraine!” we also heard voices yelling “Estonia!” … It was very nice!

Many guys will have to improve their physical condition for the next year. Now we realize that we need more cohesion, we made a lot of mistakes related to the interaction between ourselves. We had euphoria at “Battle of the Nations”-2014, we got so many victories, one after another. But back at home we began to watch videos and noticed that we had lacked agreement in our actions, lacked stamina. We will work on those points.

We have made an important conclusion that gathering a new team we will be more demanding to physical training, to equipment of fighters. Better to take less men, but be sure they are the best. It makes no sense to take fifteen poorly trained fighters, better to have five, but very good! Next year we move from the group of novices to experienced teams. It means our chances to get into a fight with Belarus, Ukraine, Russia will double. The lesson taught by “Bear Paw” showed us what to expect from the bouts against such experienced national teams. So, we have to improve our level and then, at least, we will be able to lose with dignity. And we have to work hard for that.


Nikolai Bykov,
captain of the National Team of Estonia

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1st-4th July
Oradea Fortress, Romania