Dmitry Mindiashvili: “The leadership of the national team is in debt to us”

Patriarch of the Krasnoyarsk wrestling on the results of the World Cup and the Olympic prospects of Krasnoyarsk athletes.

Still, we need to get rid of this provincial complex: it seems that we are not appreciated enough, deceived, condemned. Director of the Wrestling Academy Dmitry Mindiashvili helps to cope with this ailment.


– Dmitry Georgievich, I congratulate you on the successful performance of the Krasnoyarsk wrestlers in Istanbul. All three returned with medals. The question immediately arises: maybe it was worth taking more Krasnoyarsk residents there?
– Right. We have just discussed this issue, walked through the weight categories and agreed that the Krasnoyarsk Territory team would perform better than the Russian team. We have a very strong line-up now, and the youth have pulled up very well. And although the Russian national team is a powerful team, in some weights it performed clearly below its capabilities.

– Why didn’t the coaches of the national team take the same Melnikov, who is now clearly the best in his weight category? – I can’t find words for indignation. The boy performed brilliantly at the Russian Championship. In the final battle with this Totrov, he did not give him a single point. Won two estimates. I don’t know what they were guided by. They say that in Poland I lost a tournament of some kind. So what is more important: the Russian championship or the tournament in Poland?

– Could it have been somehow influenced?
– Now, I think, there is no need to aggravate this. I know they feel uncomfortable now. You could have thrown such a scandal, excuse me. But that just means slamming the door. You should never burn bridges. This is a strategy. I have been acting this way all my life and therefore I win. You have to be more flexible. So before the Olympics, they owe us a debt. And here chances appear not only for Melnikov. You just have to not slow down yourself.


– We could have a medal of higher value. If it had not been for Saritov, as many experts say, and the athlete himself. What happened there? And was it possible to somehow stand up for justice?
– Saritov fought for the top five. He won last year’s world champion, European champion, all the strongest. In the semifinals, he fought with an Azerbaijani, who is actually a Dagestani. It turned out that the struggle immediately went in the wrong direction. It happens. And there really were very controversial points. They rolled there from shoulder blade to shoulder blade, and one could give a point, and the other. You could roll a die in protest. But who can guarantee that the protest will be met? In 95% of cases, the referees do not support the protest, and then one more point is added to the opponent. The score at that time was 3: 4, and there were still 40 seconds to fight. Knowing Saritov’s character, we hoped that he would be able to earn a point. He won a lot of fights in the last seconds. And in that situation, throwing a die means depriving an athlete of the chances of winning.

– That is, you cannot say that, they say, you have been condemned? Just an accident?
– Yes, yes. The fight just went wrong. After this fight, Saritov came out to fight for third place with a very strong American and defeated him in such a good fight. And he convinced the whole world that he could become an Olympic champion. And there is no need to argue, no need to whine: oh, I was sued. If you follow this path, nothing will happen. We must take it upon ourselves. I heard that he said somewhere: “I myself gave a reason for such a decision.” This is correct. When an athlete thinks like that, he sees his mistakes and can correct them.


– Both the freestyle wrestlers and the classics have failed leaders, freed from the Russian championship. Although Makhov took second place …
– His place should not be second.

– Well, yes. We have known Belarusian Shemarin for a long time from the Yarygin tournament. He is an experienced wrestler, but not an elite one.
– Honestly, it’s very good that the Russian man won the heavyweight title. But Makhov didn’t even make any movements.

– So maybe the leaders of the national team shouldn’t have been given a release?
– It was a stupid mistake. I have always been against it. The Russian Championship is the main start of the country, how can one be exempt from it? Free from the tournament, free from the fights – is that right? Everyone is fighting, and he is walking somewhere. These privileges lead to such disastrous results. I don’t remember that Sasha the Bear missed the championship of the Soviet Union. So that Vanya Yarygin missed. Or Alekseev. Or Modosyan. This has never happened. And then he became a champion – they begin to hide him, they are afraid of losing. What to hide? The champion must prove.


– Now the media is actively discussing the topic of the return of Buvaysar Saytiev. Is this a reality?
– This question has already been asked by about twenty journalists … He came to us at the Russian championship in classic wrestling, came up to me. “Dmitry Georgievich, I want to continue to fight.” – “Why, you missed so much, two years ago you had to return.” – “Yes, I’ll try, I’ll try.” I came to training. I gave such a training! He won against Saritov, he won against everyone. Signed a contract. I told him: “You can fight, but you have to give up all your hobbies, politics, business, friends.” The cavalcade follows him: “You are God, you are so, you are that.” I say: “You have to abandon all this for a year. We will work day and night. You must take part in at least five tournaments, qualify for the Russian championship, and then, if they deem it necessary, you will go to the Olympic Games. ” But I’m sure: if he goes, he will win.

– But this is such a risk. If the selection fails, he loses to the same Saritov – anything can happen in a fight. A terrible blow to pride.
– So what, just think. Who hasn’t lost? This is incorrect reasoning. That’s what sport is for. And he won so much that if he loses once, it’s okay. It’s worth trying.


– This year Krasnoyarsk was not represented at the World Women’s Wrestling Championship. And in general, our girls have not been showing results lately. Leaving the traumatized Oorzhak aside, it seems that our leaders have passed the peak of their careers, and no new stars have appeared.
– I agree with you. If we can say that in freestyle wrestling among men we have a big rise – at the Russian championship they took the first command place, then the women slowed down in the results, and just before the Olympics itself. Let’s talk tough.

– Do you have an explanation for this yet?
– There are several reasons for this. First, women’s wrestling needs to be given a big boost. In our region, there are practically no branches of the CYSS for women’s wrestling. Where to get talent from? For men, wrestling is developed in 45 cities and districts of the region, and for women? Somewhere one slipped through in the Partizansky district, one in Shushensky, one in Nazarovo, one in Lesosibirsk … We need to raise the mass character. But the most important thing is to improve the training system. I don’t know if we will be able to do anything before this Olympics, but life does not end in London. Let’s do a very tough analysis.


– Your forecast, how many Krasnoyarsk wrestlers will go to London?
– I think there are 2- 3 freestylers can go and the same number of classics. If so, it will be brilliant.

– And you expect gold medals from everyone?
– Of course.

– But those guys who now they are the second or third numbers in the national team, they will not lose their incentive if they do not get to the Olympics? I mean Urishev, Belonovsky, Sata, Kurak, Khuchbarov.
– Yes, they all still have to fight and fight. They can still go through two Olympic cycles. And then, besides the Olympic Games, there are also World and European Championships. These tournaments probably mean something too, right?

– Last question. Did this world championship surprise you with something? You’ve seen dozens of them …
– To be precise, it was my thirtieth world championship as a coach. First of all, I was surprised by the number of participants. 80 countries of the world, can you imagine? New countries have appeared. Puerto Rico, for example. And our Kudukhov barely beat an athlete from Puerto Rico. In the last seconds. From Africa, countries that cannot be pronounced. Hindus. And don’t think that this is some kind of nonsense. There are guys like that – Christmas trees! The fact is that freestyle wrestling is a sport that is related to many types of national wrestling. And everyone has a national struggle. And the intensity of the struggle, the competition has increased. Previously, if the world champion lost, it was like a thunderbolt. And here, please, we were losing to the seemingly average wrestlers. We used to think that our competitors were, well, Americans, Turks, Iranians. And now we must take into account the growth of the struggle in other countries.

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