Analysis: The opposite and the most important side of the medal

17:45 - 18 Mar, 2016

The European Wrestling Championship held in Riga finished favorably for us.

Varsham Boranyan’s painstaking work was rewarded by the European Championship’s gold medal. The most experienced and titular wrestler, Roman Amoyan, proved that it is still early to send him “to retire”.  Karapet Chalyan who celebrated his debut with bronze at the European Adults Championship inspired fans with hope that there is a worthy substitute for Arsen Julfalakyan in 75kg weight class. Artur Alesanyan’s silver medal was some kind of failure for a two-time world champion, but there is no need to make a tragedy of it.

Yes, there were some refereeing partialities which weren’t a surprise for us but we also had shortcomings to improve. All the wrestlers had gaps in their performances and the head and personal coaches will work on them.

It was unspeakable pride to hear our anthem and watch our flag up at the Arena Riga. For a small country like ours it was a blessing to take the second place being ahead of Azerbaijan that spends millions on wrestling and conceding only to Russia that enjoys referees’ support.

Although we don’t want to admit but sport is politics. Superpowers show their force through sports. What a pity that the real purpose and meaning of sport, fair play and healthy competition have been forgotten on the way of meaningless demonstration of power! At one time any kinds of wars were suspended during the largest sporting event, the Olympics, while today nations wage wars for the medals of the same games.

And nowadays to see us, our team with 4 medals and among the top 3 is really impressive. But this joy shouldn’t close our eyes and cut us off reality.

Everybody is displeased with the freestyle wrestlers’ performances. Fans unanimously put the blame on the head coach. Yes, the head coach’s work is not flawless but let’s take a deeper look at this question. Before reaching adults team, wrestlers train in junior and then youth teams. Unfortunately, at the most important age stage wrestlers are filtered and then lose the qualities they had when juniors. The head coach of an adults’ team doesn’t have to invent a new bicycle he needs a competitive team and not one or two wrestlers with middle qualities in every weight class. Competition ensures quality.

In Armenia Greco—Roman wrestling has always been a step ahead of freestyle wrestling. This problem will not be solved only by changing the team’s head coach.

During the last week both the Greco-Roman and the Freestyle Wrestling Youth Championships have been held and overall 220 wrestlers took part in them. For comparison, in neighboring Georgia only the Freestyle Wrestling Championship was attended by 200-250 wrestlers. You might say that quantity is not quality. In this case quantity is competitiveness. This age group is tomorrow’s adults team but looking professionally and comparatively at the wrestlers performances one understands that there is still much to improve and work on but this huge work shouldn’t be put on only on the shoulders of the head coach but also on the personal and the youth team head coaches. Athletes mustn’t introduce a country for 3-4 years only for getting experienced.

Another problem is the organization of national championships and refereeing which stand far not only from the international standards but also all the rules of ethics. The referees must obey neither head coaches, nor officials. Here is where our misfortunes begin. It means we deceive ourselves inside while drumming up envy outside.

We must have qualified coaches, Armenia must have coaches with international qualification. Otherwise all the painstaking work of athletes will be in vein.

“When in Rome, do as the Romans do”.  If we are a part of this huge game we should adopt its rules as quickly as possible. We should realize and solve our problems from very inside. The big way starts with small steps...

Shushanik HAKOBYAN

ANOC press service

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