An Interview with Igor

Igor's arrival caused a stir not seen before, as his informal and slightly comic approach had the assembled crowd laughing out loud. His countrymen were ecstatic, as their unlikely hero flattened himself on the podium floor so that his medal could be easily hung around his neck by one of Almere's female officials... a real gentleman's touch, and much appreciated and applauded by the whole theatre.

Success was down, in some part, to Russia's approach. Freely admitted afterwards by one of their team, as obtained by some good old fashion 'KGB' spy-tactics during England's Wednesday practice session. Nevertheless, Igor drew well both days and made those tactics work for him against pretty strong opposition.

Igor's day one weight from peg C37, of 6,399kgs, was over a kilo clear of top Italian Jacopo Falsini and England's Des Shipp. Day two saw him again take on a top English angler, this time he had Stu Conroy next peg for company and weighed nearly 2 kilos in front of him. Igor was on a roll and, barring any unforeseen angler, he was about to be crowned World Champion.

This must have seemed like heaven to the Russian contingent after their European Gold medal performance in last years Czech Republic. They now are firmly establishing themselves as a major force in world angling. We tried to have an interview with the Champ, but distance and to some extent translations, limited our feature. We did however manage to put some questions to Igor, via his team mate and owner of Russia's website, Yuri Radugin, and have received some answers, albeit relatively brief ones! We trust you will find them interesting.

What groundbait mix and hookbait did you use?
2 kilos of Sensas Gros Gardons, 3 kilos of Black damp leam. Hookbaits:  2-3 bloodworm for the bream, bloodworm, casters, pinkie for the roach.
What rig did you set up for the bream?
1 gram Colmic Menta 0.12mm as a mainline, 0.10mm hook length (15cm long), Gamakatsu 1310 N18 hook.
Did you fish for small fish... or just go for bream?
The team tactic was to fish the short line for small fish, checking for bream after the first hour. If the bream where on the long line, we would continue with them. If bream do not show, we would go back to the short line before returning to the long line after the 2nd hour.
What type of fishing do you usually do?
Whip fishing and spinning.
How many World Champs/European Champs have you fished in?
As a participant, this was the first World event. Before this I was the 2nd team manager and fishing reserve  (without fishing) in five WC/EC events.
How old are you?
About 45 years old!
How long have you been fishing?
I have been fishing since I was 6 years old, but only match fishing since 2003.
Where do you come from in Russia?
Moscow, Russian Federation.
Who is your angling hero?
I have not decide yet!
Finally Igor, how does it feel to be the best in the world?
It has not really sunk in yet, although I am very pleased that I have reached this position.

Our thanks to Igor Potapov, Russia's 2009 World Individual Champion and Yuri Radugin for helping with the translations.

For those who are interested, we have links to more pictures of Igor and his Russian team mates...