On March 17-18, Abadan (Iran) will host the Greco-Roman Wrestling World Cup 2017, where the top leaders of the Greco-Roman Russia National Wrestling team are going to perform. Last year our team lost in the final to Iranians and wants to take revenge. Head coach of the Russia Greco-Roman Wrestling team Gogi Koguashvili told about team squad in the interview to correspondent Tigran Avanyan.
– Usually, the team squad is announced 10 days prior to the start, but the World Cup – it’s not the World Championships and not the Olympic Games, so it has already been decided who will go, – said Gogi Koguashvili. – We are going to Iran with the best wrestlers in the squad!
– The squad includes all the winners of the Poddubny tournament 2017, except for the World and European champion Nikita Melnikov (up to 98 kg). Why?
– Yes, we have released Nikita Melnikov from the World Cup and he is preparing for the European Championships 2017. Besides, we initially planned to include in the squad Zhambolat Lokyaev (up to 59 kg), but nevertheless we decided that he should wrestle at the European Championships U-23. It is early to talk about European Championships in more details, it is still plenty of time ahead, but it is not a secret that the favorites for the inclusion in the squad are winners of Poddubny tournament. Of course, performance in Iran will be also taken into account.
– And in the weight category up to 80 kg a favorite for the trip to Europe – Ramadan Abacharaev?
– Ramazan Abacharaev was released from the Poddubny tournament, because one month prior to it he won the World Championships 2017. I think that the world champion has the full right to participate in the team’s selection for the Europe Championships.
– The goal for the World Cup – to take revenge on Iran for the past year and to bring the World Cup to Russia?
– We always went to the World Cup with different squads, but it is the first time when we are taking the top squad. We know what it is to wrestle in Iran, the World Cup is held there for the fifth time in a row. We managed to win once there, and now we are intended to repeat that success. Today, the calendar has slightly changed, and the European Championships was moved from March to May, but we are taking the top Russia Wrestling team athletes to Iran not only for this reason, I am going to tell you a little bit differently. The World Cup is a significant event for us, which goes after the World Championships. The best teams of the world are coming there, coming with its strongest wrestlers in the squads. And we want to proof that we are the strongest in the world. In fact, it does not matter for our team which wrestlers we are going to take and who will come to wrestle against us. When we are wrestling with the Iranians in Iran – it is a true wrestling rivalry meeting for us. Even though the draw has not taken place yet, for the dual against the Iran wrestling team we are going to focus and prepare in a special way. Do not emphasize that we have Olympic champions in our team squad; any squad of Iran wrestling team together with their fans is comparable to the national team of Olympic champions. Iranians, like us, will wrestle only for the gold.
– From Rio victors only a two-time Olympic champion Roman Vlasov did not make a start after the Olympics. In what wrestling shape is he prior to the World Cup?
– Roman Vlasov feels himself as the two-time Olympic champion should feel himself. He has rested and trains as hard as he can, getting in shape and ready for the grind.
– How was at the wrestling camp in Sochi?
– Everything was according to the plan, we have fully carried out the training plan and on March 1 we are going to gather in the “Horizon” located near Moscow.
Mingiyan Semenov – 2012 Olympic medalist, 2014 World Championships medalist, 2016 World champion;
Stepan Maryanyan – 2015 European Games champion;
Artem Surkov – 2015 European Games champion, 2015 World Championships medalist;
Aleksey Kiyankin – 2014 Russia national champ;
Abuyazid Mancigov – 2016 Russia national champ;
Yury Denisov – 2014 Russia national champ;
Roman Vlasov – two-times Olympic champion (2012, 2016);
Chingiz Labazanov – 2014 World champion;
Ramazan Abacharaev – 2016 World champion;
Davit Chakvetadze – 2016 Olympic champion;
Evgeny Saleev – 2015 European Games champion, 2014 World Championships medalist;
Musa Evloev – 2014 Russia national champ;
Sergey Semenov – 2016 Olympics medalist;