Anna BALASHOVA:

"Medals are little circles I cherish"

World champion 2015 in weight category over 80 kg
among women
1. Please recall and describe the emotions you felt when you became a world SAMBO champion in 2015.

"I don't actually remember the emotions. I was tired from training, and from daily workouts. I felt surprisingly calm and confident in my abilities. After the end of the championships, when my sister threw a party for me with noisy guests, balloons and cake, I relaxed a bit and really felt like a champion.

2. How did they congratulate you? What do you remember most?

"My most vivid memories are of the party my sister arranged. It was totally unexpected and so much fun for me!"

3. How has your life changed in the year since the last world championships? Does the status of the world SAMBO champion help you in sports and in everyday life?

"There haven't been any special changes, just a lot of work and training camps, and I recently won at the Russian Championships. World champion status helps in both life and sports, of course. When you achieve one goal, you want to keep going – you set new goals for yourself and go after them with confidence."
After the end of the championships, when my sister threw a party for me with noisy guests, balloons and cake, I relaxed a bit and really felt like a champion
4. Where do you keep your gold medal? How important is it for you?

"I have more than one gold medal, and I keep them at home, of course. The medals are a symbol of victory and success for me, and finally a memory, little circles that I cherish."

5. Will you participate in the 2016 World SAMBO Championships in Bulgaria? If yes, how is your training going?

"I'll be competing in the World Championships in Bulgaria. Now I have daily workouts on the mat, and I go to the gym. My program also includes stretching, Pilates and vitamins..."

6. What qualities do you need to become a world SAMBO champion?

"First of all, I think you have to love the sport. It shouldn't be just a way to get in shape or win some awards; it also has to be real passion of your life! You have to be strong physically and mentally, to have endurance, constant self-control, a winning spirit, and, of course, you must believe in yourself."

7. What would you like to say to your fans? And to your opponents?

"Of course, I want to feel the support of fans throughout my sports career. It definitely helps. In turn, I'll try to meet their expectations by winning. Good luck to my opponents! Even defeat gives you an incentive to work harder, keep training and correct your mistakes."
Read the interviews with the other champions here:
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