Bronze wedding of Melnikov

It is not for nothing that the memorial of the legendary Russian wrestler Ivan Poddubny is called the small world championship.

An indirect confirmation of its high level and importance was the fact that The coaches of our national team this year made a decision: all the first numbers of the national team must take part in it. Moreover, 10 foreign teams arrived in Tyumen for the 50th anniversary Grand Prix “Ivan Poddubny”. They included wrestlers who are the color of Greco-Roman wrestling, or athletes from the young and early – those who are eager to fight in order to prove by deed that the future belongs to them.

We have already told you about the results of the anniversary memorial of Poddubny, where the Krasnoyarsk Greco-Romans won one gold medal – Nazir Mankiev and four bronze ones – Aslanbek Khushtov, Nikita Melnikov, Adam Kurak and Gabriel Yeprikyan. Rustam Khuchbarov also had a chance to get into the prize-winners, but unforeseen health problems prevented him – Rustam had only fifth place. Upon his return to Krasnoyarsk, Rustam underwent an in-depth medical examination at the municipal center of sports medicine, and let’s hope that everything will improve over time. Mikhail Gamzin, the head coach of the Krasnoyarsk Territory national team, shared with us the details of the performance of our guys in Tyumen.

– In general, I am rather satisfied with the performance of the guys, – Mikhail Aleksandrovich admitted, – than upset that not everyone performed at their championship level. Nazir Mankiev started the season well. At the tournament, he showed a very mature and confident fight: on the way to gold, he beautifully defeated an American, a world championship medalist and a strong Uzbek wrestler. Nazir retained his active, aggressive style of fighting, but at the same time he acted very carefully and did not give his rivals a chance to even put themselves in a difficult position, and not just to gain victory points. From the actions of Nazir on the carpet, the boyishness, the unjustified risk that Mankiev sometimes allowed himself before… Now his struggle is the struggle of a mature master who knows his own worth, but devoid of disdain for an opponent. In addition, Mankiev seems to have learned to endure, maintain composure and eventually break through even the dull defense of his rivals. I was also pleased with his physical form, although Nazir had to drive off four kilograms of excess weight before weighing. Another Olympic champion, Aslanbek Khushtov, did not prepare specifically for the Poddubny tournament. He came to Tyumen after a voluminous and very serious power work. Giving him a massage, I was simply amazed at how his muscle corset literally ossified. And the biceps had to be kneaded almost with a sledgehammer. He literally chopped with his palms and crushed Aslanbek’s muscles almost with his knee, but they gave in weakly. At the same time, I am sure that this voluminous rough work done by Khushtov at the beginning of the season will serve as a good basis for his successful performances during the season.

All over it is felt that the bronze misfire at last year’s World Championships shook the wrestler, and he drew the right conclusions from this. It is a pity, of course, that in an equal fight for reaching the final Khushtov almost lacked fresh muscle sensations, agility and luck. But in the battle for bronze, we all saw the former Khushtov: evil, resourceful, fully concentrated on the fight. This was also noted by the chairman of the Russian Wrestling Federation Mikhail Mamiashvili. I am satisfied with Gabriel Yeprikyan’s bronze, he has a good future if he does not slow down in training. Yeprikyan’s first coach is Vladimir Nikitin, an excellent specialist who works with boys in Cheryomushki. And Gabriel is not the only talent he brought up in the Leninsky District: Garik Babayan can also become a very interesting fighter. As for Nikita Melnikov, who stood on the same step of the podium next to Khushtov, he brilliantly went through the first three fights, but in the fight for reaching the final he somehow squeezed, psychologically burned out, which was used by his more experienced opponent, who acted more relaxed… I had to thoroughly sand Nikita and restore his fighting spirit. So Melnikov did not leave Tyumen without a gift for his upcoming wedding. Adam Kurak also showed on the carpet that he continues to grow and improve his wrestling. He adequately resisted the future winner – Yuri Denisov from St. Petersburg and lost to him the fight for reaching the final in an almost equal fight.

Grand Prix “Ivan Poddubny” is a rating tournament and competition, based on the results of which the main and reserve teams of the country are formed for participation in the World Cup, European Championship, World Championship or prestigious international tournaments. One of them will take place in Serbia in the second half of February. The Krasnoyarsk wrestlers Bekkhan Mankiev, Rustam Khuchbarov, Nikita Melnikov and Adam Kurak, as well as their mentor Mikhail Gamzin, should go to the Balkans as one of the coaches of the national team of the country. But the main goal of most of our Greco-Roman wrestlers and their mentors, of course, is a successful performance at the Russian Championship, which starts for the first time in Krasnoyarsk in the second half of June.

Grand Prix “Ivan Poddubny” is a rating tournament and competition, based on the results of which the main and reserve teams of the country are formed for participation in the World Cup, European Championship, World Championship or in prestigious international tournaments. One of them will take place in Serbia in the second half of February. The Krasnoyarsk wrestlers Bekkhan Mankiev, Rustam Khuchbarov, Nikita Melnikov and Adam Kurak, as well as their mentor Mikhail Gamzin, should go to the Balkans as one of the coaches of the national team of the country. But the main goal of most of our Greco-Roman wrestlers and their mentors, of course, is a successful performance at the Russian Championship, which starts for the first time in Krasnoyarsk in the second half of June.

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