Nikolay Ivanov for the IAAF
12 August 2001 - Edmonton -
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
“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
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.