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Sixteen-year-old Daria Mezentseva presented a surprise to the Russian climbing community at the last Russian Championship in Voronezh.
In climbing for difficulty, she took a silver medal and fulfilled the standard for master of sports of Russia.
On the eve of the Russian championship in Krasnoyarsk, we asked the young athlete about her path to this award.
“At least get to the final” –
Dasha, you made a brilliant debut at the last Russian championship in difficulty, becoming for the rest of the athletes, as it seems, an unexpected medalist. What did you think in the first seconds when you realized that you became the owner of the silver medal?
– To be honest, I didn’t believe right away that I got into the prizes at all! Of course, I was very happy. It’s nice to know that I can compete with the strongest athletes in the country.
– How did the other guys who participated in the competition react to your victory?
– Many guys congratulated. Especially girls of my age category, with them I am still quite familiar. But I practically don’t know the athletes of the adult team.
– Were the tracks in the championship in your style?
– In qualification and especially in the final – yes, and yes again! But on the semi-final track, no luck: there was a jump. With jumps, in short, everything is bad. (smiles) Yes, and when I was reading the final track, it didn’t even occur to me that there was dynamics there – I climbed the way I originally laid it out in my head.
– Was it psychologically difficult to compete with more experienced and titled athletes?
– No, it’s not hard even once. Probably because there were no expectations of myself, because at first I thought that it would be cool to at least get to the final. On the contrary, I really liked watching the climbing of the stronger ones, because in qualification, when I tried to watch the track, and one of the top athletes began to climb, I was distracted, and I was completely absorbed in watching their climbing. (laughs)
– What did you emphasize in training in the summer, when everyone was on self-isolation?
– I have a fingerboard and liabilities at home, so I hung on them. I also ran a lot of time and spent a lot of time on cyclic general physical training, campus board 2-3 times per approach and an hour’s run. The workouts were more about keeping in shape, not getting in shape.
– What is your training regime now?
– I train five times a week during the preparation period and reduce the load to four times two weeks before the competition. Difficulty climbing twice a week. I do special physical training after each workout, and sometimes GPP. The mode is stable.
– If some route doesn’t work out during training, do you leave it or later try to climb?
– If something doesn’t work out during a training session, I torture the track for a long time and stop only if I understand that there is no strength left in this training session, or this is a jump that has no chance. But I will definitely try and try to finish off the track in another training session.
– In your opinion, are there enough halls in Novosibirsk for high-quality preparation for the All-Russian adult competitions?
– If you wish, you can prepare. But, to be honest, there is a lack of a high 15-20-meter climbing wall to fully train the difficulty. We have an 11-meter climbing wall in Novosibirsk, along which I climb up and down. Sometimes we climb circles in the boulder hall. After difficulty training, we always train volume on campus.
– You did not perform as well in bouldering as in difficulty, but at the same time, the 12th place in adult competitions is also a very strong result. One “top” was missing before the final. Why do you think it failed?
– Bouldering has always been weaker than difficulty. Little explosive power, poor dynamics. Although the first track in the semifinals of the Russian Championship had to be climbed.Hard work in half with passion
– How did you come to rock climbing?
– A friend called me to rock climbing sometime in 2015. Then I studied ballet, but there were no classes in the summer, and I agreed. And it was interesting what it was in general. That summer I went about a month and then stopped, and when I quit ballet, I decided to try myself in rock climbing. I quit ballet because I was tired of it. Oddly enough, I burned out, although I was engaged in dancing since childhood, and I liked it. First I went to my first coach Olga Anatolyevna Burdakova, then to evening adult training, and then I met Luda Zlobinskaya, with whom I am friends and now train with Daria Yuryevna Bragina at a sports school.
– What kind of sport would suit you if you were not fond of rock climbing?
– I don’t even know … Anyone, I guess. All my life I have been a rabid active child. (laughs) Are there any climbers you admire? – Of course there is! And, quite a lot! Especially the Italian Laura Rogora, she is only 2 years older, and already climbs nines and won the only stage of the World Cup in difficulty in August this year. When I watch the broadcast of international competitions, I wonder how athletes generally make any movements or pass the track!
– Do you climb on the rocks?
– I was on the rocks only once in 2018 in Crimea. I climbed in Nikita and on the Red Stone, the maximum category then climbed 7c.
– What other hobbies are you besides climbing?
– I like to read, but, unfortunately, now there is practically no time for this. In addition to climbing, I am now preparing for the exam.
– Is it difficult to combine sports with studies, and what are your plans for studying in the future?
– It’s not really hard for me. The school I study at is quite strong and I don’t have to sort out new material on my own. And so in the morning I go to school, after it for training, and in the evening I decide the exam. And if there is a rest day, then I sleep off. After school I plan to study in St. Petersburg.
– What do you think is more in your climbing success: hard work or passion, passion? Or equally both?
– I think both. I am a very stubborn person, and if I really want something, I will achieve it. If they said that the training is at this time, I will do everything possible and impossible so as not to be late, although for this it is necessary to go from Akademgorodok to Krasnoobsk for an hour and a half. (laughs)
– We will see you in Krasnoyarsk at the Russian Championship. What is the mood for the upcoming competition?
– The mood is great, especially after such a successful performance in Voronezh.