The head coach of Armenia’s Greco-Roman wrestling team, Levon Julfalakyan, summed up the European Championship and commented on the Armenian wrestlers’ performances in a conversation with ANOC press service.
-Mr Julfalakyan, please, make a comment on Artur Alekanyan’s defeat. Fans were unpleasantly surprised.
-I see nothing depressing in Artur Aleksanyan’s defeat at all. It is normal; in sport we have both a victory and a defeat. Artur had come to the championship in his medium shape. We didn’t want ourselves Artur to participate in excellent shape. Yes, there were mistakes and we have to work on them. Besides, our fans know that competing with Russians we have to be a step ahead of them. In case of being equal, our chances diminish. Before the Olympics we are going to train so intensely that we will be not a step but two ahead of our opponents and won’t give any chance to referees. This defeat should give new impetus to Artur to make him strive more for victory. I am sure everything will be fine.
-It seems like the conflict Melnikov-Aleksanyan resembles the conflict Vlasov-Julfalakyan.
-You are right. People who consistently follow our wrestlers’ performances, notice that the same story is continually repeated; our athletes show activity, they attack but still they are put on all fours. It’s obvious that the opponent easily does a takedown and deprives our athletes of chance. This is a tactic that is cultivated by Russian referees and leaders. Unfortunately, it is a fact. That why, we must get so strong that neither opponents nor referees have a chance to deceive us.
-The same occurred with Maksim Manukyan.
-Unluckily, it did. If they judged the bout right it would finish in our favor 8:0 but we lost 6:11. Maksim did 2 falls of 4 points as we know after it the bout ends, but the referees didn’t count towards the points and gave 2 points to the Russian wrestler. These are painful facts. But our guys don’t give up and continue believing in themselves. We win despite all the obstacles.
-Mr Julfalakyan, Varsham Boranyan finally succeeded and managed to conquer the long-awaited gold. What would you say of him?
-It’s been a long time Varshan was very close to a medal but every time something went wrong. In 2014 at the World Championship he had to reach at least the finals. I have always believed and waited for his victory. Thank God his efforts weren’t in vain. He passed very serious bouts and could prove that he is one of the best wrestlers of his weight class. I am very happy and proud that we are able to cheer our fans, our people and our nation up.
-And what about Karapet Chalyan’s debut at the European Championship?
-I am happy that there is a young and promising substitute for Arsen Julfalakyan. Yes, there are some gaps which should be worked on. Anyway, the most important is that Chalyan is very ambitious, hard working and uncompromising. He has great prospects, I believe Chalyan.
-Mr Julfalakyan, many people have sent Roman Amoyan to retire. What do you think of his silver “return”?
- We all know Roman (laughs) as one of the strongest wrestlers in the world but we also understand that sport can’t put up with age. I won’t call it a return. He has a trick knack to make everyone to believe that he is not around but he always is. We should take a special approach to his training and this victory is its result. God willing, he will finish the Olympic year successfully.
-And what about Mihran Harutyunyan? Fans expected a gold medal of him.
-Mihran Harutyunyan should work out more. He spares himself. He is a very talented wrestler and I may say unique in his kind. Unfortunately, being talented isn’t sufficient, one must be hard working. I have spoken much to him of it. I have a special approach for each wrestler, their victory is my victory. I am hopeful that this defeat will be a great lesson for him.
-Mr julfalakyan, Armenian has placed second in the team event. Are you satisfied with it?
-We took part with 8 wrestlers in the European Championship and are coming back with four medals. It is a serious achievement. We have won all kinds of medals. Let’s hope we will qualify for the Rio Olympics and will join in them not only to participate but to show good results.
ANOC press service
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There are still two rounds till the end of the championship