The Moscow 2013 team, of Vitaliy Mutko, Minister of Sports, Valentin Balaknichev, President of ARAF, Anatoly Polinsky, were confronted by questions on the availability of hotels at the morning press conference that started off the Thursday briefings.
The press conference revealed a possibility of a new Moscow stadium, seating 20,000 ONLY for track & field, and Anna Chicherova’s focus on the Moscow 2013, which will keep her chances down of competing indoors in 2013.
In the press conference, Vitaliy Mutko revealed, ” I am please to say that most of the track has been redone, as well as the high jump and other jump areas, with a surface provided by MONDO, “. Mutko added, ” next spring, we will line the track and also rebuild the training track”.
Anatoly Polinsky was the one confronted by questions on the media hotels. “Russian hotels do not like to reduce prices before the new year, we are working with them to insure good prices for media.” Balaknichev saved the day by noting, ” We will work with Anna Legnani, of the IAAF and Anna will make sure that your concerns are met.”
Moscow is a very expensive city, so the negotiations are on going. World Championships, which travel around the world, always have their challenges and pricing in a city like Moscow, where the Russian economy is having challenges due to the focus of the economy on the Russian energy business, will not go away.
Anna Chicherova, Olympic champion at the high jump told the media, ” I am eighty percent sure that I will not compete indoors this season in order to better prepare for the focus on my next season, the World Championships.”
Mutko, Polinsky and Balaknichev handled the press conference, where most of the confrontational questions came from Russian media, deftly. They would do well at a press conference in an American city such as Chicago.
Again, Russia has changed over the past thirty years. The city of Moscow and the ARAF can no longer just guarantee pricing and other issues. One good point, from Polinsky, was that free transportation for the media will be guaranteed back and forth to the Olympic stadium.
Valentin Balaknichev noted that a new track stadium is being discussed between the IAAF President Lamine Diack and the Mayor of Moscow, Sergey Sobaynin. The stadium will seat 20,000 spectators and be built for track & field only. Balaknichev noted this after questions came up about the Moscow 2013 legacy.