Beijing Olympics bronze medalist, two-time world and European champion, freestyle wrestler Georgy Ketoyev spoke about transferring to the Armenian wrestling team, the expectations for the Olympics and his future plans in a conversation with ANOC press service.
-Georgy, welcome to Armenia and thank you for accepting our invitation. Please, tell about the last 2-3 years we didn’t see you in the arena. What were you doing?
-I haven’t participated in tournaments for almost three years but I have trained every day. I can’t imagine my life without wrestling. It isn’t just a sport for me. I enjoy training, fighting and, of course, winning. It is, indeed, a great pleasure for me.
-Almost everyone believed in your victory during the Beijing Olympics. According to specialists, the problem was your weight? What is your opinion on the matter?
-No, it wasn’t. The weight loss couldn’t be the reason of the defeat. That victory simply wasn’t given to me by God. Now when I look back, it was possible to win the fight but I come to a conclusion again that God didn’t give it to me. This is sport and we put up with defeats over time.
-You have mainly competed in the 84kg weight class, how do you feel in the 97kg weight class?
-I feel fine. I think training hard I will be able to keep in shape.
-After a long pause you took part in a tournament and conquered an Olympic qualification and a gold medal. How did you manage it?
-Sincerely, I don’t know. There is a good wrestling school and conditions for achieving a good physical condition at the place where I train (Vladikavkaz). Besides, my experience helped much. I was sure I would qualify for the Olympics, but didn’t think I would win.
-Have you got acquainted with the wrestlers of the Armenian team? And have you already trained here?
-Of course, I don’t feel coldness here. I have known everyone in the team before joining it. We are members of the wrestling family and all of us feel a kinship with each other. I had been absent for 3 years but I was given such a reception as if I was at home. I haven’t trained yet, I will begin from training camps.
-Besides Armenia were other states interested in you?
-Yes, I have got some suggestions but I wanted to join the Armenian team because we both are from Christian nations and I feel at home here.
-What tournament are you going to participate in before the Olympics?
-I am going to take part in 2 tournaments, one in Italy, the other at the tournament after Stepan Sargsyan.
-What about you opponents who have already qualified for the Olympics?
-I have competed with all of them and I know them well.
-And what do you expect from the Rio Olympics?
- God willing, we will raise our flag in Rio (smiles)! I am going to Rio only after a medal. Every athlete who takes part in Olympic Games dreams of victory. I can’t say more and have never done it before. Even in 2007-2008 when they were saying to me, “You are the champion, we are confident”, I was silent. There is one truth here, the mat will show.
ANOC press service
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