Irina Zaretska: "When I see my opponent lose their power, I eat them- INTERVIEW

27 December 2023 13:50
Irina Zaretska: "When I see my opponent lose their power, I eat them- INTERVIEW

Interview of Irina Zaretska, the karate player who came third in the "Best Female Athletes of the Year" nomination, to website

- We can say that after your second victory at the World Championship in 2021, you have stepped towards your third title in two years. Mission complete?

- Despite all the difficulties, a lot of work was done. I knew exactly how important a preparation plan was, but I wasn't going to give priority to anyone. In the last 5 years, I have managed to win all competitions or at least climb to the podium, so I lead the world ranking.

- Many called the fight a great final, taking into account your intense competition with Elena Quirici in the decisive match of the World Championship. How did you approach this encounter?

- It was a decisive battle, which put an end to everything. We met with him in the finals of all stages of the Premier League, the European Championship, and the European Games. Until the last moment, the score was equal - 3:3. But by winning in Budapest, I took the lead. We were fighting for the first place in the rating. Quirici wanted to get ahead of me and did everything for it. But I had to prove myself. In this sense, the world championship was intense.

- Does holding the World Championship every 2 years make the victory more desirable and valuable?

- Exactly! In addition, not all leaders win the world championship. They take the first place in the tournaments, but the nerves are strained in the World Cup. This also happened with Quirici. He is performing well, but I know how to prepare for the final of the championship. When I see that my opponent's power is reduced, I eat them. The last time was the same.

- So, do you turn on the "killer" or "predator" mode?

- I saw how nervous the Swiss karate player was. Of course, I was also excited. But I manage not to show it and destroy my opponent's self-confidence.

- It seems that the next season will not be as full of events as the current one. What are the plans?

- The competitions will last for about 6 months, including the Premier League and the European Championship. Let's see how things will be in the federation. Now I have rested a bit, but I can say with confidence that I will prepare for 2025. As a world champion, I received a license for the World Games and the World Cup. After Budapest, the format of the world championship has changed, now the participants must qualify. So 2025 will be a big year for me again.

Zaki Feyzullayev