Armenia judo team head coach Armen Nazaryan spoke about the team, its future plans and replenishment in a conversation with an ANOC reporter.
-Mr Nazaryan, not so long ago you have trained with the judokas you train now. Have you adapted as a head coach?
-(Smiles) From my former team I have only Hovhannes Davtyan and two other judokas, the rest are young athletes. The generation has changed. I have no problem of adaptation as I have been in the same boat with them and I like coaching. I want to pass my knowledge to young athletes.
-Is it possible that in the future you will have pupils?
-I haven’t thought of it yet. It is hard to work with teenagers. I have always wished to work with the national team and the federation gave me such an opportunity. Maybe, one day I will.
-Arsen Khanjyan, Eduard Kurdinyan, Stepan Sargsyan, Aram Grigoryan – do these names say you something?
-The athletes you mentioned are very talented and experienced judokas who live and train in Russia. I keep in touch with them and I always try to bring all talented Armenian judokas to the national team from abroad. We have reached agreement with Ferdinant Karapetyan and in future we are going to replenish the team.
-Why is it so difficult to reach an agreement?
-First of all we have a financial problem. The boys shouldn’t be blamed, as they, not being the first numbers in Russia, get as much salary as it is impossible to imagine here. No judokas will be invited to the team before the Olympics. It will be more appropriate to invite athletes after the Olympic period. If Ferdinant Karapetyan came a year earlier it would be easier for him to obtain an Olympic qualification having more time.
-Do the team members receive a salary?
-The federation works in this direction. We try to create favorable conditions for Ferdinant Karapetyan for not discourage him and make him train and fight better. He is our best hope.
-I think that as an athlete you have faced such problems, too. What motivated you and kept in the team?
-Nothing comes easily in Armenia. From time to time our country supported me financially, but there was time when I received nothing at all. Nonetheless, I continued training, representing my country and registering good results. At that time I was participating in club tournaments and that was what helped me. I have trained in Germany for almost 8 years and got paid that way.
-Mr Nazaryan, taking into account your experience, isn’t it possible to send athletes from Armenia to foreign clubs filling the gap?
-I have fight for almost all European clubs. I know their agents and now we negotiate with them about sending one or two judokas there.
-How many Olympic qualifications can be expected?
-To be realistic – two from Hovhannes Davtyan and Ferdinant Karapetyan. It will be difficult for Zhanna Stankevich to get the necessary points. She will have to be included in the top 14 judokas.
-What plans do you have in the near future?
-At present we have a practice twice a week in Yerevan. At the end of March we are going to tournaments and training camps and won’t be in Armenia for 2 months. Hovhannes Davtyan will participate in a training camp and the European Championship. As for Ferdinant Karapetyan, he will take part in the Grand Prix in Georgia on March 25, after it he will leave for Turkey to a qualifying tournament. Then the team will hold a training camp in Sochi and with 6 judokas will join in the European Championship in Kazan.
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