Polinskiy: "Organising Moscow 2013 is challenging, but exciting"
Moscow 2013 LOC Executive Director Aleksandr Polinskiy talks to R-Sport agency about the main sports event of the year in Russia that will be held in less than two months.
- On 10-11 June "Luzhniki" hosted the international meeting "Moscow Challenge" that played a role of the test event for Moscow 2013. What exactly was tested? Was the test successful?
- It wasn't the first test. Last year we also organised the "Moscow Challenge" with the World Championships in mind. The major part of the technical equipment isn't yet installed at the arena, the mounting will start in July. So the Russian Championships will be the dress rehearsal. At the "Moscow Challenge" our main aim was to test the judges' operations. And everything went well. As for transportation and accommodation, there was no point testing those, because only 200 athletes came to Moscow for the Challenge while during the World Championships there will be more than 2000. So we rely on our experience and understanding. We have everything planned out and we hope that the event will be held at the highest level.
- Do you like the newly installed pitch?
- I'm satisfied with it. The grass is growing green, striking roots. There are some spots that need replacement or reseeding, but we'll sort it out by the time of the Rugby World Cup.
- Will the pitch survive rugby matches?
- Well, they will trample it down a bit, but it's no big deal, we'll fix it. We are ready and we'll have almost one month for the maintenance. And for athletics the pitch isn't supposed to have the ideal quality, because the athletes don't actually run on grass. But it is supposed to look green and flawless. And we can do that.
- Many "Moscow Challenge" participants said that the arena was great, the track was good, but there weren't enough spectators. They are hoping to see full stands during the World Championships. How are the ticket sales going? Are you satisfied with the figures so far?
- The sales aren't brilliant, but they are ok. And, in my opinion, it's too early to give estimates. There are still 2 months to go. We will be able to talk about the situation with attendance in the end of July. Russian sports fans aren't used to buying tickets in advance. They think that there won't be any deficit and they will be able to buy the tickets on the day of the competition.
- What about foreign spectators? Are they buying tickets?
- Of course! They are actively booking tickets online.
- Do you check on the weather forecast?
- Yes, we've already started receiving information from the Hydrometeorological Centre. But you must understand that talking about weather forecast with two months to go is somewhat pointless. More or less precise predictions will be available one week before. Anyway, we're not planning to try and influence the weather situation as the event lasts for nine days, it is a long period. When we chose the dates for Moscow 2013 we took the weather stats into account,. According to the indicators these days are the least rainy in August.
- Are the hotels ready to welcome the teams?
- Yes. Everything is agreed upon with the IAAF. We'll be using nine hotels, four - for the teams. We already have the distribution of the teams among the hotels.
- Did the teams have any preferences?
- Last year team leaders came to Moscow, we showed them all the hotels and they expressed their wishes. Some teams picked the hotels right away. Those who didn't do that will be accommodated in the "Cosmos" hotel, as "Crowne Plaza", "Raddisson Slavyanskaya" and "Golden Ring" are already booked.
- I know that there will be about 400 official vehicles that will be allowed to use the dedicated lanes. But it happens that careless drivers create jams at the dedicated lanes as well. Do you plan to use escort for any special cases?
- Russian laws don't provide for any escort use. And I don't see the need for it. All the team hotels except for the "Cosmos" are located near "Luzhniki", the event will be held in August when the traffic is less heavy. But if we have some special necessity we can count on a co-operation of the road police.
- You've organised a number of major sports events in Moscow. Is the IAAF World Championships the most complicated?
- Yes. It is the most challenging one. And the most exciting one. I haven't and no one has organised such a major event in our country since Moscow 1980 Olympics. The IAAF World Championships is in the top-5 sports events worldwide. That's the answer for your question. Organising such an event is difficult, interesting and it is a huge responsibility. I hope that we will succeed.