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Sadova's Lessons

Sadova’s Lessons
Nikolay Ivanov for the IAAF
12 August 2001 - Edmonton - The new World Champion in the discus throw Moscow athlete, Natalya Sadova made a wonderful reality out of her greatest dream by beating  Belorussian athlete Ellina Zvereva who was had been world and European champion while Natalya was getting only silver and bronze medals.   Once Sadova even asked 40-year-old Ellina  to leave the sport and let others take gold medals. But Zvereva continued her competitions. That is why Sadova till the last attempt in Edmonton was afraid of her old rival.

But what happened now that made Natalya strong enough to overcome Zvereva?

“I think she was fed up with her failures and she found the right  way to control her emotions,” says her coach and husband Mikhail Sadov. “She is much calmer now and has no more false dreams. She is consulting with me more often.”

The coach of Irina Privalova, Vladimir Paraschuk was the main person who helped to change Sadova’s fate.

“I talked with him very much and he explained what I need to do,” says Mikhail. “The main thing is to respect and to love your athlete.”

Mikhail was a javelin thrower but he finished with the sport because of injuries and in 1996 he became  Natalya’s  coach. Previously she had been trained by her father Ivan Koptiuh who  gave his permission  to pass his beloved athlete into good hands. In Edmonton Mikhail was on the edge of a nervous breakdown while watching the competition. And when Natalya won he could not find the words to speak about her victory. For the first time she accomplished what her team was expecting from her.  

In Atlanta she came second and in Sydney Natalya did not even reach the final and it was a very important lesson for her, it changed all her attitude to the sport.

“There were many reasons for my failure. First of all I did not do everything to achieve my main target. We tried to prepare for the Olympic games and at the same time to win dollars at the Grand Prix meetings. And at the end we failed. We did not win money or an Olympic medal. I was so tired to loose every game,  - she says now.