The 3rd KWU World Championship among men and women was held in the city of Yekaterinburg, Russia on December 10, 2017.
Among the 7 sportsmen who represented Ukraine at this tournament, only Anna Izdebskaya (The All-Ukrainian Kyokushin-kan karate-do Federation, SC “Tenno Dojo”) was able to fight her way into the final part of the championship and win silver.
After returning home, we talked to Anna and asked her to tell a little about the trip and participation in the World Championship.
First of all, Anna, I would like to congratulate you on the silver you’ve won at the 3rd KWU World Championship, which was held in Yekaterinburg on December 9 – 10.
Hello! First of all, I would like to express my gratitude to all those who supported me. Special thanks to my coach Trofimets Sergey Vladimirovich for the vigor, time and faith he invested. Thanks to Tuz Alexander Nikolaevich for financial assistance.
Anna, could you tell us a little about yourself, where are you from, what organization you represent, who is your first coach, how many years are you in Kyokushin, and, aside from the KWU World Championship, what are your successes in Ukraine and the international arena?
I was born on 30.04.1993 in the village of Khatki, Skadovsky district, Kherson region. I started karate from the age of 9. Igor Mikhailovich Kravchuk is my first coach. I took the first steps in karate with him. Until 17, I was a member of the IKO federation, in the brunch of Sergei Sergeevich Vsevolodov. In 2011, I entered the National University of Physical Education and Sports of Ukraine and, in the same year, I continued to study karate with sempai Trofimets Sergei Vladimirovich.
Since I arrived from a small village to the capital of Ukraine and there were no acquaintances other than my brother, finding a coach was difficult. I met the coach with whom I train to this day by accident. I went to the dispensary for a planned medical checkup ordered by the university, where a group of karatekas and their coach were passing a medical examination, and thus the acquaintance took place. I remember it as it were yesterday – when I came to the first training to the “Tenno Dojo” club, there were very hard physical exercises. The guys told me after training: “If you’ll come here after such an IPT (Intensive physical training) – then you’ll stay here.” This is how I passed my trial by fire in this club.
Since 2012, I started to play rugby sevens in parallel with karate training. I was a member of the National team of Ukraine, played in European championships. However, over time, I realized that there are more opportunities to prove myself both as an individual and as an athlete in karate.
In total, I have been practicing karate for 15 years. Now I am a member of the Ukrainian national Kyokushin-kan karate team. Since 2014, I began to compete in “adults” section on the international arena. My first trip was the IFK European Championship in Bulgaria. And right in the first round I met Emma Markwell, a very talented and famous athlete from Great Britain. I lost the fight, but I got a colossal experience. After these competitions, I took part in the European Championship in Kyokushin-kan karate in Berlin. I also didn’t win there, but I got a prize for “Spirit and Will for Victory”. Took part in the 2nd KWU World Championship, which was held in Khabarovsk. In 2015, won first place in the international tournament in Bulgaria – “The cup of Hanshi”. Took part in the 1st KWU European Championship, Belgrade, Serbia. Not all tournaments I managed to win, but I was getting more and more experience from tournament to tournament. In 2017, I did almost everything we have planned. We went to Poland for the European Championship (WKB) and I managed to take the first place there, “Hoooooraaaaay” – this victory gave me confidence! Two weeks after Europe, our team – “Tenno Dojo”, went to Belarus for the Gomel Cup, where I had 2 fights and took the second place in the end. In all the above tournaments, my first rounds were with very strong athletes from different countries (Russia, Lithuania, Britain), but as they say: “When working with strong ones, you yourself become stronger” – that’s how it happened to me.
In Ukraine, there was no selection for the World Championship, tell us how did you end up at this tournament, was it your wish or the decision of the coach and organization?
In Ukraine, there was no selection for the KWU World Championship. Many organizations, refused to participate in this tournament due to the fact that it was held in Russia. However, I really wanted to go to this tournament because it is the “coolest”. There were no other tournaments better than the KWU World Championship. I was selected for previous achievements.
Anna, when did you start preparing for the championship, how and where did the training take place?
Preparation for the competition began 3 months before the start. We started to work with a nutritionist, made a training plan and began preparing for the championship. The training took place under the direction of Trofimets Sergey Vladimirovich. We practiced every day, except for Sunday (only one day for the rest – ooooh I loved that day). The preparation process was complex and very intensive. Sometimes after training I didn’t want to go home because I had no strength at all!!! On the eve of the World Championship, I took part in two other championships. The victories at these tournaments added to my confidence in my abilities.
Tell us about the organization of the World Championship, how did they meet you, where did you live, what activities did you attend?
The tournament was organized at a high level. We were met by volunteers and led to a bus, and then our team was taken to the hotel “Onegin”. We arrived early so we didn’t check in at once and had to wait a little (we managed to get a little upset), but then everything went great. Organizers of the tournament prepared cool gifts for fighters and judges, so everyone was very pleased. Various tours were organized for fighters and judges. The fights took place on the big arena, there were 2 halls – one for warm-up and the other hall for fights. There were a lot of monitors, on which the participants could watch how the fights are going, we were not allowed into the main hall. Volunteers were constantly looking for fighters who were supposed to fight and led us to the main hall. In general, the organization was very cool and everything went gorgeously. Now, in this kind of tournaments I want to participate more often!!!
How many fights you had in the tournament, who were your rivals, what fight was the most exciting?
On the first day, I had three fights. I didn’t have much jitters and the self-confidence was strong as never before! “The most important thing to me is to go through the first fight and then everything will go well” – I constantly told myself. The first fight was with an athlete from Germany (Lara Seydel) and I got through it very confidently. “Phewww” – I thought, “Things started to go nice.” The second fight for the semi-final with Aleksandra Lesniewska (Poland) was also very important, the Polish worked dirty, she feigned a lot and beat where she shouldn’t. But I got through this fight confidently enough and then immediately thought: “I’m in prizes, Hooraaaay!” The third battle was for the final with an athlete from Russia – Maria Savelyeva. The battle was very interesting and lasted for 2 times. When my coach shouted “last 30 seconds, Anya!” well, I thought “that’s it, I have to give everything I’ve got, because the whole Ukraine watches and worries”, and I did it! Tears, joy, laughter and inability to believe that I’m in the finals of such a great championship.
In the final, I fought with Diana Maciute (Lithuania) – the oldest participant of the championship, an experienced and strong athlete. The final fight I don’t remember at all, as these were such emotions that it’s simply impossible to convey in words. I’m sitting now and watching YouTube, how it all went – it all flew by as one moment.
I think it’s no secret that many Ukrainian fighters and coaches did not go to the tournament in Yekaterinburg for the so-called political reason. How do you feel about this and what would tell to those people who put politics above the sport and the result?
I’m for sports outside politics. And in my head it was never a question whether to go to this championship or not. I’m going to say one thing – this is a very high leveled championship and it doesn’t matter where it holds.
To those who put politics above sports achievements and goals, I can say – Kyokushin – is one big family that unites people, regardless of skin color, nationality, religion and political beliefs.
I think everyone understands that you will not stop at this result, what are your plans and goals for the nearest sporting time?
Now I want to rest. In the new 2018, I will prepare for the 1st dan test, I really want the Black Belt. If everything goes well, I will take the exam in Japan (yet another childhood dream).
We will work, grow and hope that in the future the gold will be ours.
Anna, thank you for the interview.
Interviewed by Cherednichenko Yuri