At the 31st Summer Olympic Games Armenia’s representative in shooting will be Nanjing Youth Olympic silver medalist Hrach Babayan. These days Babayan and the team head coach, Seyran Nikoghosyan, are holding a training camp in Poland with the support of the NOC of Armenia. In a conversation with the ANOC press service the head coach spoke about Babayan’s chances and expectations from the Games.
-Mr. Nikoghosyan, we have only one shooter in these Games, Hrach Babayan. Please, tell how you met Hrach for the first time.
-He was a very little boy when I first saw him. I saw him with his personal coach and said, “Don’t you pity this boy? Instead of giving him a pistol you have given him a big rifle”. They objected to me saying that he was very talented. He was keeping a 5kg rifle as an adult and was shooting 10, 9 and always accurately. Then he got older and when he was a junior he was shooting like an adult. Hrach enjoys respect at every tournament, he has reached that level.
-What do athletes like Hrach need to maintain their high result?
-Athletes need several training camps and international tournaments in a year to keep in shape. We should start preparing for the next Youth Olympic Games from today. Today’s generation is the generation that must take part in international tournaments because we have talented children.
-Earlier in our conversations you have mentioned that at least two or three athletes are expected to qualify for the Olympics. Why did it happen this way?
-Our adults’ team is not so strong and we needed more training camps which we didn’t managed to do. We went to the European Championship and happened what happened.
-I think you have already spoken to Hrach about the Olympic Games. How is he disposed?
-I know we will participate in the Olympics well. I can’t say anything about positions because from 50 participants only 8 reach the final. During a general “fire” athletes’ impressions differ from those during the final. No matter how the coach tries to help the athlete but if the athlete’s self-control doesn’t work nothing will work out. I am hopeful that Hrach has all these qualities.
-How many Games (Olympic Games, Youth Olympic Games) have you taken part in, including these ones?
-These will be the Sixth Games including the Youth Olympic Games.
-What changes for an athlete after World Championship and Olympic Games?
-Nothing in particular, a tournament is a tournament. During Olympics it’s easier to shoot because the number of shooters is lower. If at World Championships there are 45-50 participants, at Olympic Games the number is three times lower.
-Have all the strongest countries in shooting got the right to participate in the Olympic Games?
-For example, Croatia, Romania and some European countries which are strong in this sport won’t take part in the Games.
-What preparatory stages are you going to have?
-From July 10th we are holding a 13-day training camp in Poland. The training camp is attended by the strongest shooters of Belarus, Ukraine, Poland and Germany. I think Hrach will be able to prepare perfectly for the Olympics in such a competitive atmosphere. His result is high, we need to strengthen it. We formed this team with the support of the president of the National Olympic Committee of Armenia, Gagik Tsarukyan. Before the start of the Games we will train in Rio where we will leave for on July 26th.
-Thank you and I wish you good luck.
ANOC press service
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