The head coach of the Armenian freestyle wrestling team Arayik Baghdasaryan in a conversation with an ANOC reporter summed up the World Championship in Las vegas. He talked about the team wrestlers and chances of getting Olympic Qualification.
-Mr. Baghdasaryan, which was the reason of our athletes’ bad performances in Las Vegas?
-We really expected much more of the World Championship. We hoped to grab both medals and 2 or 3 qualifications. Unfortunately, they didn’t manage. All the wrestlers performed worse than it was expected. Only Levan Berianidze (125kg) could obtain Olympics Qualification. He had impressive victories losing only to the World champion. Berinidze’s problem is the lack of experience as he hasn’t had a right of participaton in the international competitions for 2 years. But I have many expectations of him. He can pleasantly surprise us at the Olympics.
-Have you already figured out what was the reason of their failure?
-I have thought about it a lot. I have even discussed that issue with our coaches. In their opinion the change of climate might also inflict on the performances. We left for Las Vegas early, trained there and maybe, the team was exhausted. But I don’t think so. The guys were feeling well. Besides our team there were also Azerbaijan’s, Georgia’s, Iran’s, India’s teams. We held trainings with almost all teams that won medals in Las Vegas (except Russian team). Our athletes have no desire to fight. I wouldn’t like to put all the blame on them but I didn’t see a struggle there. They surrendered without fighting. They are in a psychological depression maybe after Baku Games. Our athletes showed good results in Stepan Sargsyan Tournament and there was hope that they had overcome that situation, but they hadn’t.
-Your team has only one Qualification (Levan Berianidze) but there are still qualifiers. How are you going to choose the wrestlers that will fight for the Qualification?
-I’ll choose them relying on the results in the international competitions. Next year we will participate in 2 more international tournaments after which the national team will be formed and it will became clear who will fight for a qualification and go to the European Championship. It doesn’t matter who is the team first athlete, whoever is in a good condition, will fight for a qualification. The tournaments follow each other and will be held during 25 days, whoever is ready, will come out.
-Do you mean that the Armenian Championship won’t be held?
-No, it won’t. The Championship must be attended with a pure weigh. I don’t think it’s right to make the wrestlers lose a weight for participating in the Armenian Championship.
-You are going to try Valodya Frangulyan in a new weight class (65kg) at Soslan Andiev Tournament ? Shall we possibly see him at the qualifiers?
-We have changed Valodya’s weight class for creating competitiveness for Davit Safaryan. At present Davit prevails on Valodya both by his experience and weight. Frangulyan is a young and perspective athlete but has a weight problem. He’s light for the 65kg weight class (in group 65-66kg). Time will show. We should find a substitute for Davit and the best one is Valodya Frangulyan. We shouldn’t forget how much Davit Savaryan did for our country. He is a World and European champion, an Olympics participant. I don’t want to undervalue our wrestlers but at present the most real chances of obtaining an Olympic Qualification has Davit Safaryan. He should overcome his depression. It’s a long time he has no desire of winning but losing. Now he is in the training camp in Vladikavkaz with his personal coach.
-Who will fight in the 86kg weight class: Musa Murtazaliev or Shamir Atyan?
-Murtazaliev has an injury and now isn’t with the team. If he doesn’t join in the training camp in Tsakhkadzor, he’ll lose the place in the team. In this case I’ll give my preference to Shamir Atyan. As you know he had a perfect performance at the international tournament. The 86kg weight class is one of the hardest because of the great rivalry. If he doesn’t get Olympic Qualification this time I’m sure he’ll do it next time.
-Is it true that the former World champion, the Russian Georgi Ketoev will come out in Armenia’s freestyle wrestling team?
-No, it’s not true. I don’t know where these rumors appear from, actually, we were made such offer and I can’t say something negative, he is really a famous and talented wrestler but it isn’t convenient to replenish the team with adult athletes. I’m against of it. If we have to accept athletes from abroad they should at least conquer an Olympic Qualification or a medal, otherwise it’s better our wrestlers get experience and go ahead.
ANOC press department
The tournament was held on February 5-9
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