The Secretary General of the National Olympic Committee of Armenia, Hrachya Rostomyan summarized the 2015 year in a conversation with journalists.
-Of course, it was a very tense year. We had 3 important events: Baku European Games, ANOC's 25th anniversary and Olympavan's opening which was very significant for our sport. Time has shown that our participation in Baku Games was very appropriate and it raised our reputation. The NOC of Armenia is one of the important members of the IOC and EOC. On the ANOC's 25th anniversary we all saw what kind of respected people were present at the ceremony. This shows the respect that enjoys the NOC of Armenia. Olympavan is built with private funds of Mr. Tsarukyan and will be finally put into operation in June 2016.
-How do you assess the 2015 sports year and are you satisfied with the results?
-I'll lie saying that we are certainly satisfied but there were moments like in gymnastics when we got expected results. This year ANOC had 2 goals, the first was to obtain qualifications and we obtained 11 ones, next year we expect 25-26 more qualifications. And if we have 25-26 qualifications we'll be content.
-Mr. Rostomyan, you've mentioned that you are not going to use ''white cards'' any more. Will there still be a ''white card'' in Rio?
-I am still inclined to believe that we don't need ''white cards''. This question will be discussed at the next session of the Executive Committee. If an athlete can't get qualified for Olympic Games, he'll take part with Coubertin's slogan: '' The important thing is not to win but to take part''. If it referred to Winter Olympics we would use white cards.
-2016 is an Olympic year. How are you going to prepare for it?
-We are carrying out the preparation in 2 directions. Those athletes who have already obtained qualifications will have a special program to work out, the others will train in another way. We work separately with each sport. I've had a meeting with Gymnastics and Weightlifting federations and discussed the program ''Road to Rio''. The Gymnastics federation lacks finances and the NOC of Armenia headed by the president, has assumed all the costs. These federations will pass their last training camp in Rio.
-After the World Weightlifting Championship we realized that we have rather strong opponents. What expectations do you have?
-We are not surprised of having strong opponent. The countries that have always been strong at weightlifting are still at the same level. Fortunately, our young athletes have shown that they are able to uphold the honor of Armenia. We shouldn't forget that our coaches had a task to get as many qualifications as it was possible. When Tigran Martirosyan suddenly got that unforeseen 0 we had to approach it with caution and not to take risks. We'd be more secured without that 0. But taking 4th place at the World Championship they have shown that at Olympics they are able to compete for medals.
-Speaking about weightlifting, have you already chosen the participants?
-This is sport and there can't be mentioned definite names, especially in weightlifting. The list is as follows: the World Championship participants, also Aghasi Aghasyan and Smbat Margaryan. Among women are Hripsime Khurshudyan, Nazik Avdalyan and Izabella Yaylyan. These are the main participants. I think in 2020 Sona Poghosyan will have rather good results. Next year the athletes who are in the best physical condition will leave for the Olympics.
-Summing up the year, what was the disappointment of the year?
-Disappointment is a bad word. Such word doesn't exist in ANOC. We have some expectations in several sports but there weren't lived up. Particularly, boxing, but I am confident this sport will still show its potential. I should note that it will be rather tough for our boxers to get 2016 qualifications as one tournament will be held in Baku ''in our beloved Baku'', the other in Istanbul. We should support them in every way. I believe that Karen Aghamalyan will get a qualification and it was a right decision of the federation to appoint him a head coach.
-2015 was rich in terms of cooperation. Both you and ANOC President Gagik Tsarukyan established new relations of cooperation. Please open the brackets.
-In addition to CIS countries, this year we started to cooperate with the two European countries, France and Italy. I am sure we'll soon see the results. Also they will hold a joint training camp.
-The best 10athletes of Armenia became known. Why weren't Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Levon Aronyan among them?
-The top 10 athletes were determined by sports journalists and I respect their decision. If you want to know my opinion I agree with them. Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Levon Aronyan are great athletes but by determining the best 10 we sum up the year achievements. You cannot convince me that Armenia's football team has had great success this year. Henrikh Mkhitaryan plays good football in Dortmund "Borussia" upholding its sporting honor. If there were Audience Award I would vote for him. We shouldn't make this issue a broad discussion topic each year.
-Hasn't Harutyun Merdinyan deserved a higher place?
-Of course, Harutyun Merdinyan did much for our country. If Mihran Harutyunyan conquered a medal in Serbia he would be in the top 10, but don't forget where he conquered it. I am sure that Mihran Harutyunyan has registered such good result as the world champion.
ANOC press office
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