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Leo Serafimovich Koreshkov

So far the main project of the Meritorious Coach of the Russian Federation, Fencing Master of Sports Leo Serafimovich Koreshkov is the Fencing History Museum, which is his brainchild. The museum features a huge number of exhibits which Koreshkov has been collecting for the past 40 years. Among them are over 2,000 medals and badges, over 1,000 mail stamps, envelopes, and postcards relating to fencing. The museum also displays award cups, medals, books, and photographs of Olympic fencing champions and their coaches. The Fencing History Museum is housed in the Chertanovo sports complex in Moscow.

Some exhibits of the Fencing History Museum can be viewed here.

Leo Serafimovich Koreshkov is a Master of Sports and Meritorious Coach of the Russian Federation. He became fascinated with fencing as a ninth-grader. After finishing high school, Koreshkov enrolled at the Institute of Physical Culture where he studied from 1955 to 1959. His desire to attain mastery in fencing was so great that all of his efforts went toward achieving this goal. Thanks to his dedication, already in 1960 he was awarded the title of Master of Sports in Fencing and started coaching athletes at the Young Pioneers’ Stadium.

In those years the fencing movement was picking up pace and gaining popularity, which attracted a large number of enthusiast to his school. Yet out of 500 applicants only 50 could enroll, which is why all applicants were subjected to rigorous testing. Among the first students to enroll at the fencing school was the future USSR champion Nadezhda Kondratyeva, who was coached by Leo Koreshkov. Subsequently Nadezhda was coached by V. K. Lukoyanov and in 1967 won the World Junior Fencing Championship in Tehran before joining the adult fencing team.

In 1964, a sports school at Luzhniki Stadium hired a group of young coaches, including Leo Koreshkov. A short while before that, Koreshkov attended an open-air competition of Moscow school students, among whom he noticed a sprightly lefty – the future four-time Olympic champion and seven-time world saber fencing champion Victor Krovopuskov. Victor started practicing fencing at the age of 13, with Leo Koreshkov as his first coach. Victor proved an undoubtedly talented fencer who possessed everything that it takes to become a winner – perseverance and desire to endure to the victorious end. Also, he never stopped questioning himself: Am I doing it the right way? Is there a better way to do it? Why is this or that technique necessary?

The future sporting celebrity asked Koreshkov so many important questions and debated with his teacher in such a competent and sensible manner that the coach himself admitted that he mastered many secrets of fencing together with his young student. Leo Koreshkov would attend courses at the CSKA Central Sporting Club of the Army, learning coaching techniques from the nation’s best coaches: David Tyshler, Vitaly Arkadyev, and Leo Kuznetsov. He spent hours at a time observing training bouts and examining his notes in order to give accurate answers to Victor’s questions. It is worth noting that when they both, the student and the teacher, reached agreement, Krovopuskov would follow the teacher’s instructions to the letter without any further debate. Koreshkov taught Krovopuskov to make 10 winning hits instead of 5 in a single bout so nothing would stand in the way of his victory. After 3 months of practicing saber fencing, Victor Krovopuskov won third place at the Moscow junior championship, and by the age of 19 he fulfilled all qualifying requirements to become Master of Sports of the USSR...

Leo Serafimovich Koreshkov has been coaching for 47 years, commuting each day to the capital from Krasnogorsk outside Moscow. It would seem that with such a lifestyle he can’t possibly have the time or the energy to pursue other interests. Yet alongside his profession and the fencing museum, Koreshkov is an accomplished photographer and writes amazing lyrical poems inspired by the works of Sergey Yesenin and Sasha Cherny, who are his favorite poets.

 


 

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