Recent years is gaining momentum one more direction from the European Squash Federation. If earlier tournaments among the sport's veterans, have passed from the age limit 35 years, It was rare, now this movement has become a separate series of tournaments with his European Championship in «Masters» category. And although the Ukrainian masters of the racket at the event appear less frequently, but every time they still manage to surprise their rivals - the more significant, that a dozen years ago on the Ukrainian Squash at the European level, almost nothing was known.

Of recent events, we note two wins in a row captain of the national team Constantine Rybal'chenko, managed to win the first Budapest tournament, and then Bordeaux, Where, by the way, He did not give opponents a single past game, and many of them took a crushing score. We may recall his victory in the competition in Wroclaw in distant 2015 year. It could seem, that in tournaments like kind of a rather weak competition, but with this totally disagree another luminary of Ukrainian squash Alexander Bulgakov. He has long advocated a tournament of this kind in the "40+" category and knows, that they can sometimes be faced with such rivals, that there are too tough and younger masters racket.

Bulgakov is not the first year is a party «Masters» and knows all the overtones of these tournaments. AND, by the way has a lot of achievements - third place in the «Italian Open Masters» in 2015 year Riccione, fifth in «Polish Masters»-2015, high places in the other tournaments in the Czech Republic, Germany, including the recent fifth place at the «Hungarian Squash Masters». So that he can tell quite objectively, what awaits players, which have already passed the milestone, when they can afford to act in a given age group at the international level.

Alexander Bulgakov at the tournament in Hungary


Alexander Bulgakov: "On the" Masters "are always unpredictable"

I have two years speak at similar competitions. It is in our country is no such championships, while in other countries there is a long squash, and there are enough people of all ages to, to hold such tournaments. Most often, they are focused on the local squash veterans, but there will always be glad to see representatives from abroad.

- Naturally, with age, experience and skills do not disappear, but there are not the same speed. As far as rivals on "Masters" are different from those, with whom you encounter on regular tournaments?

- As you said, they have a crazy game experience. Add to this the culture of the game, especially the representatives of the countries, which it has a long history of squash. Many play squash on 30 with more than years, they differ in terms of technology, approach to the game, properly warm up, zaminayutsya, feel your body. It is seen, that had previously been involved professionally, All these details were supplied and mounted on a subconscious level.

Of course, at my age, difficult to play against young skvoshistov - at least, more time to spend on restoration, More energy is lost. I remember, last year in Germany in five matches I had to play two on the court pyatigeymovyh, where the temperature was still under 30 degrees - could I squeeze. But, yet again, even at these tournaments will not tell, breakwater, We went to play some "oldies". If you've seen, in Budapest in March he appeared Englishman Talligan Lu Van in the "60+" category! He could learn and young professionals in the prime of life. Generally, there is no limit to perfection. And in this age is not a hindrance.

- How do you assess the extracted fifth place in Hungary? This is a good result?

- Well, the best was the third in Italy two years ago,. But in general, any place, mined on similar tournaments, very valuable. know, the higher the age of the participants, more interesting, the more difficult opponents. In the same "35+" category, which now stands Constantine Rybal'chenko, many players still have an active career and can afford to play the "general" PSA-tournaments, because in the "Masters" states rarely. They stand for the national teams, sparkle in the professional tournaments. Therefore competition in Rybal'chenko is not very strong. But the older, the harder. Most intense category, I noticed, a "45+", "50+" and older.

As for the fifth place in Hungary… normal results. After all, in any tournament is all about the overall level of declared players and plan can not be anything in advance. it happens, one tournament comes a large number of strong players, and fifth place - it's all hoo some achievement. In Hungary, my ceiling would be in fourth place, maximum hit in the top three winners. Although, admit, of participants it was quite even in my category.

- Now you do not have so often take part in internal competitions. Does it mean that, what you choose to focus on coaching and speeches on these "Masters"?

- Why is? I play in the competition in Ukraine. It all depends on, it allows time, Job, health. Well it is simply impossible to play in all tournaments, that exist. About the "Masters", here, I note, standing still and financial issue - in other countries quite expensive ride. flights, Accommodation - the west, more expensive. So I choose more affordable for my budget. here is, eg, It is being held in Britain interesting tournament - I believe, one of the "coolest" of its kind. Last year, it appeared the player, come into their time in the Top 5 of the world skvoshistov. But afford five days to go to London, I can not - you can then year will not leave (laughs).

- And what do you plan the nearest exit?

- On European Championships in Poland, which kicks off 30 August. properly, in order to prepare for it and we went to Budapest, Kostya then also filled his hand at the tournament in Bordeaux. It is necessary to earn points in the rating, sowing to be more convenient. After all, here the level of the participants will be much higher, than ordinary tournaments. Last time (at 2015 year, when the tournament was held in Sweden), eg, then defeated the legendary former coach Thierry Linke Renan Lavigne. So it will not be through-rivals, therefore, we do our best to prepare and protect yourself from unpleasant surprises.

Which is nice, this trend is growing in squash. International Federation recently engaged in "Masters" organization at a high level, and they are gaining popularity, more and more people poured. Even the party's rating could nothing to say. In Hungary, eg, I for past achievements was seeded number one, and guys showed up and immediately unrated povybivali all favorites. So that such competitions are always interesting and unpredictable. Yet again, the emergence of so many new tournaments raises interest in squash in a single country and may, as a result, help squash finally become one of the participants of the Olympic Games.

© Aleksandr Muzyka

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