Five Mongolian athletes will compete at the 2022 FAI F2 World Championships for Control Line Model Aircraft, which will take place from August 8 to 13 in Wloclawek, Poland. In particular, 10th grader of Khumuun Complex School in Zuunmod soum of Tuv Province N.Nomin will participate in the F2B category. She delved into her training in the following interview.
Are you getting excited as the competition day approaches?
Yes, because I will represent my country and compete with the best in the world, I feel a sense of duty and responsibility more than ever before. Therefore, I set myself a goal to succeed. In the past, when I participated in the Ulaanbaatar Qualifying Championships, I received psychological and technical advice from experienced athletes. They said, “A competition is a competition. Don’t be afraid of being a world champion. It is important to keep your morale high and participate with confidence.” If I compete as instructed by my coach, I will be as skilled as the athletes from other countries.
In Mongolia, control line flying is not as popular as other sports. It is a good thing that recently our country has supported young people who are successful and participated in foreign competitions. What’s your position on this?
This sport is highly developed in many countries. The foundation for the development of our country is now being laid. As I will participate in the World Championship for the first time, I will gain as much experience as I can. I hope I will be motivated to quickly develop this sport in my country like other sports after the competition. The more a country supports its athletes, the more successful both the country and athletes become. From Asia, the Chinese are very good at this sport. The quality of their aircraft production has improved. As the country pays attention to the training of its athletes, their skills have also upskilled.
You are one of the students of coach J.Bayarbat at the Young Inventor Center in Tuv Province. How many years did you study under his guidance?
He has guided me since 2018. The first time I heard the sound of a model aircraft engine, I wondered, “Wow, that’s cool. The aircraft should be light. I wonder what it is made of?” and thought, “It’s a really interesting type of sport that makes you think quickly.” Thus, I realized that it was one of my interests and decided to study it. Then one day, my teacher said, “From this year, female athletes will participate in the World Championship. Let’s train and compete.”
We are spending a lot of time and effort to participate in this year’s championship. In Mongolia, this sport is not widely known because it is not supported. Meanwhile, South Korea prepares its athletes at a high level and also trains them as aviation engineers. In our country, not many children can practice it, so the number of interested people is small. Adolescents are also not interested in control line flying.
How did you feel when you first practiced flying model aircraft?
It was not easy for me to train at first. I used to worry about making a mistake while flying aircraft like accidentally dropping it and breaking it, or disappointing my teacher. In a way, I felt pressured. During the competition, I lacked experience and crashed my plane. I later realized that I had been keeping a burden and keeping my mind preoccupied with unnecessary thoughts.
What does your teacher advise you during training?
He says, “Free yourself from bad thoughts. If you make a mistake during the flight, avoid repeating it.” I gained confidence after successfully participating in a few competitions held in Mongolia. I think that at the World Championship, I will show the talent and skills of Mongolian people to the world rather than being afraid.
This sport requires a lot of sensitivity and experience. There are many cases where athletes crash their planes because they do not calculate the direction of the wind correctly, right?
I’m learning a lot from my teacher. He carefully observes the physical and psychological state of his athletes and calculates everything based on their skills, talents, experience, success and the risk of making mistakes. I am also proud of the skills and experience of Z.Chingis among Mongolian male athletes. He participates in competitions with high morale and wins over his opponents. While some athletes get nervous on the field, he stays very calm. When flying the plane, he carefully calculates the direction of the wind.
There is no athlete in our country who can surpass his skills. My teacher always tells me, “The wind direction changes all the time. Concentrate well, feel where the wind is coming from and calculate correctly.” Z.Nomundari comes from Ulaanbaatar to Tuv Province to train. We encourage each other during training. Players of this sport thrive on motivation, self-confidence and a high level of sensitivity.
You got the highest score and won the competition for selecting athletes to enter the World Championship, right?
Yes, I was nervous the morning of the competition. I got up early that day and when there was no wind, I flew my aircraft and trained. Then the weather suddenly turned bad and it snowed, and the teacher told me that the competition was postponed until 4:00 p.m. Athletes had to compete when the weather is colder than usual. Flying a plane in windy conditions is risky and difficult, especially for new athletes. In this competition, I had to rely on my own feelings and calculate accordingly. After passing the first stage, I realized that it is not easy to be an athlete. I felt like I didn’t want to participate in the competition when my hands were cold but I thought about how much time my teacher spent on training me for the competition. After the competition, when the judges presented the score results, the teacher said, “Nomin, you won and will participate in the World Championship.” At that time, I said to myself many times, “You have passed the first step. In the future, you need to pay attention to your preparation and psychology.”
I heard from your contemporaries that you do other sports. Can you tell us about this?
I play basketball, volleyball, chess and checkers. Chess and checkers had a great impact on my concentration skills and mental stability. Learning to sit for long periods of time requires a lot of endurance. It takes about two hours to move one chess piece. I started my sports career with athletics. I participated in the Asian Chess Championship held in Mongolia. I became patient thanks to sports. Control line flying is connected to psychology. Due to their psychological state, athletes can make any mistakes during a competition.
I also love dancing. I studied gymnastics and Latin American dance. I even took ballet lessons to audition for “The Nutcracker” ballet. I also danced in the theater of my province for 13 years.
Athletes’ style and image are important in competitions. Which athlete do you admire?
I heard before that athletes compete in international competitions with approved brand aircraft. It costs more than 10 million MNT to order a plane from abroad. Since we pay for the competition ourselves, we cannot afford to buy expensive aircrafts. My teacher prepared a special model aircraft for me. Before participating in the World Championship, I will train with this aircraft. I like the style of Nicole, a female athlete from Bulgaria. Her clothing, movements and body language indicate her skills. I was very impressed by her skills after watching a video of her competition in the 2018 World Championship.
How well does your school support you?
I have to prepare early in the morning before class. Sometimes, I just focus on my training and don’t participate in school activities. At such times, my classmates understand me well. The school management and teachers say, “You should prepare for foreign competitions. You are exempted from some lessons.” When local people hear about my participation in the World Championship, they say, “She is the first female athlete from Mongolia to compete in this sport.”
The support of family plays a big role in the success of athletes, right?
Control line flying is suitable for women. My mother encourages me to participate in competitions and develop my skills. I like to consult with my mother when making decisions. At first, my arms used to hurt when I flew aircrafts. Now I don’t have that problem anymore. To develop the muscles of my hands, I practice air, soft and table tennis. This sport has many categories, such as F1A, F1B, F1C and F1P. Depending on the characteristics of categories, the required factors are different. Out of this, the category I will participate in is F2B.
Do your younger siblings want to play this sport like you?
I am the eldest daughter and have two younger brothers. I have been trying to be a good sister since childhood so that they can learn from me. My mother is seriously ill and in care. Since I am the person who will take care of my family in the future and set an example for my siblings, I should define myself correctly and instill the skills to develop myself from now on. If I do the right thing, my siblings will also do the right thing. When they first heard that I was doing model flying, they asked me, “What kind of aircraft do you fly? Can it be flown just by throwing it?” They also told their classmates, “My sister flies airplanes in the air.” In the future, I plan to pursue a career related to this sport and specialize as an aeronautical engineer. I was offered by MIAT Mongolian Airlines to work at their company after graduation.
Have you requested organizations to sponsor you?
The Nomin United Center Office will support my participation in the World Championship. Workers of Nomin Holding LLC are also helping me cover a certain amount of the expenses. MIAT offered me flight tickets to and from Frankfurt. Moreover, the management of Avto Oil Company gave me 2 million MNT, and Minister of Construction and Urban Development B.Munkhbaatar personally gave me 1 million MNT to aid my participation. I want to thank the organizations and people who believe in me and help me. Now it’s up to me to successfully represent my country in the competition. Since the name of Mongolia will appear in the World Championship, not Nomin, I will mobilize myself in every way and produce the results of everything taught by my teacher.
You are actively involved in community and volunteer work. You were also selected from Tuv Province to participate in the Youth Parliament program, right?
A person with any education can participate in social work. I actively participate in social volunteer work. I think people should challenge themselves and develop in many ways. Last spring, I was selected from Tuv Province for the Youth Parliament Conference and the National Parliament Education Program. We studied many things in one year, from what legislature and democracy are to how bills and laws are implemented.