Rio 2016 Olympic gold medalist, Greco-Roman wrestling three-time world and four-time European champion Artur Aleksanyan (97 kg) summed up the ending year in a conversation with the ANOC press service speaking about his achievements, the injury got in the World Championship and becoming UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.
-Artur, how did you spend the year?
-The year started well for me, first I took part in a prestigious tournament in Kazakhstan and won it, then I performed in the European Games. I was in good shape and it allowed me to become a champion. Afterwards I joined the World Championship in good physical condition where the main goal was to win a qualification. In the beginning I was doing well but in the third bout I got a rib injury and continued to fight with it till the final which I had to miss. If I wasn’t injured I might win my 4th gold medal in the World Championship.
-However, you wanted to fight till the last minute.
-Yes, till the last moment I wanted and I was ready to fight but they didn’t let me because the broken rib could damage other organs and bring to more serious consequences.
-How do you feel now?
-Now, I’m fine, I have started entering the mat during this training camp till now I only did physical exercises. I’m preparing for the international tournament in January.
-The European Championship will be held in February. Will we see you at the European Championship?
-I want to participate in it but we will see after the international tournament in January. If the old injuries don’t impede me I will join it.
-This year you became a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. How did you manage?
-I got an offer and accepted it at once. It’s a great honor for me to become a Goodwill Ambassador of that organization.
-Will you have time to get in best shape before the Tokyo Olympics?
-My main goal is the second Olympic gold medal but before it the important is to keep away from getting injured and then I’m sure everything will be fine.
-Many people think that now Musa Evloev, one of your main opponents, is much better prepared than you.
-Yes, he is a good wrestler and is in good shape but I don’t feel bad either and at the World Championship we saw whom I defeated on my way to the final and whom he won. I hope I’ll meet him at the Olympic Games and many questions will get their answers.
The Memorial Tournament was attended by more than 230 wrestlers
The tournament will be held in Germany from April 20-29.
Ashot Velitcyan at 66kg lost from the first fight…