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 separation refers to the wrestlers not to the countries they represent
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