Mikhail Mamiashvili: "We are eternally indebted to our fans’’
On November 11, the European Nations Cup - Alrosa Cup kicks off at Moscow Dynamo Sports Palace in Krylatskoye. It will bring together athletes from Russia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Hungary, Georgia, Moldova and Romania. On November 11, the group meetings will be held, and on November 12 - the final matches. President of the Russian Wrestling Federation Mikhail Mamiashvili told Vestnik Kavkaza about the significance of this event.
- How much is the Open Freestyle, Greeko-Roman and Women’s Wrestling European Cup important for the sportsmen?
- Such competitions are important, first of all, to check the level of training of the athletes. Any victory over the leaders of the European wrestling goes to offset and is taken into account during the formation of the team that will participate in the European Championship. The European Championship is one of the most prestigious events for the Russian team. Athletes will perform at home, on the fertile land of the North Caucasus, which is steeped in the great wrestling traditions, starting from the great Ali Aliyev and Zagalav Abdulbekov. I am convinced that due to the grandstands full with Russians, fellow countrymen, Dagestanis, representatives of the peoples of the entire North Caucasus, our fighters will try to please the viewers with victory, to entertain them. Every athlete who participates at the Alrosa Cup, of course, dreams of performing at the European competitions in front of his relatives, friends and fans.
- The European Wrestling Championship will be held in Kaspiysk only in March. Can you name the strongest athletes?
- I am convinced that the strongest will be the winners, but we are entirely indebted to our fans - an in-and-outer performance at the World Championships in Paris obliges our athletes and coaches. They are obliged to return the faith of their fans with their work, attitude, results, show them that we are capable and adequately present Russia at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, by joining forces and consolidating all opportunities.
- And who are the rivals at the Alrosa Cup?
- There are plenty of rivals. It is enough to look through the lists. The team of Hungary - next nearest a European champion, world champion, prize-winner of the Olympic Games. Teams of Georgia and Azerbaijan - Olympic champions, world champions. The team of Romania is represented by very strong athletes. Belarusians, our brothers, Ukrainians are very strong teams. Especially the Ukrainian team, including girls. Maria Stadnik (bronze medalist of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, silver medalist of the 2012 Olympic Games in London, silver medalist of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, 2009 world champion, five-time European champion, winner of the 1st European Games, editor’s note). Here, believe me, there is someone to look at. If the Russian team performs well, there will be the athletes to choose and analyze for the future formation of the team for the European Championships.
- Is the Azerbaijani team a serious rival?
- Traditionally, this is one of the leaders of the world wrestling. It is enough to see the history of the last three Olympic Games. They invest huge amounts of money and develop this sport quite dynamically. Traditions there are colossal since the USSR - world champions, European champions. Good choice of coaches. There are brilliant conditions for self-realization of any athlete - from the child who only comes to the gym, to the members of the national team. Azerbaijani wrestlers have been rivals for any team of any country for several decades.
- Is there a cooperation at the level of the federations between Russia and Azerbaijan?
- Of course. There is a constant exchange of delegations, we are in normal working and human contact. Representatives of Azerbaijan are members of the international federation, the first vice-president of the Azerbaijani Wrestling Federation, Namik Aliyev, is a member of the Executive Committee of the United World Wrestling. In addition to friendly relations, we have excellent working relationship. Therefore, only together we are doomed to success.