Strong in unity

Even in the absence of their leaders – Olympic champions Nazir Mankiev and Aslanbek Khushtov – the Krasnoyarsk wrestlers performed excellently at the national championship in Moscow. This tournament was one of the most popular for betting on the Parimatch website. The pupils of Mikhail Gamzin, the head coach of the regional wrestling academy, Rustam Khuchbarov and Nikita Melnikov won gold medals in the weight categories up to 60 and 96 kg, respectively, and last year’s champion in the category up to 66 kg, Adam Kurak, a student of the city sports school coach Sergei Sitnikov, lost only in the final Olympic champion Islam-Bek Albiyev.

Mikhail Gamzin, speaking about the championship, said that in Khuchbarov’s category, the favorites were the bronze medalist of the 2006 World Championship Vyacheslav Jaste and the bronze medalist of the championship Europe – 2010 Zaur Kuramagomedov. However, the coach, together with Khushtov and Mankiev, managed to convince Huchbarov that it was time to show his teeth and fight for the title. And such a man’s, without lisping support and exactingness, according to the champion himself, helped him a lot: the Krasnoyarsk man went through all the fights in one breath, winning them in two periods, did not give any of them to his rivals. And in the final he took a convincing revenge for last year’s defeat at Justa. He won the first period against the offender, and in the second he put the opponent on his shoulder blades. Even the head coach of the Russian national team, Gogi Koguashvili, noted in the media comments that Khuchbarov “demonstrated not only a high-quality fight, but also character, sporting anger, in the good sense of the word.”

At the same time, Khuchbarov himself does not believe that he outstanding success.

– To become the champion of the country is, of course, pleasant, – says Rustam, seriously, without a shadow of pretense, – but this is only a small step towards the main goal. Who remembers the champions of the country, but the Olympic ones do. I would like to bring to Krasnoyarsk, the city and the people of which have become very close to me, an Olympic medal, as my cousin Nazir Mankiev did. I would like my parents to rejoice at the success in Ingushetia too. Mikhail Alexandrovich and I have done a great job, but more needs to be done. I see how Khushtov, brothers Bekkhan and Nazir Mankievs train. Bekkhan in Moscow generally followed me on my heels, advising me how to deal with this or that opponent, what mistakes should be avoided. I have someone to take an example from, someone to look up to. You can’t stop. And I need to learn how to fight well abroad. So far, only once has performed abroad.

Commenting on Adam Kurak’s silver, Mikhail Gamzin noted that he had made good progress compared to last year. I became more technical – I worked out several new techniques, combinations. His struggle became more active, more aggressive.

– Even if the gold went to the Olympic champion Islam-Bek Albiyev, – says Mikhail Alexandrovich, – Adam proved that last year’s success was not an accident, and he was entrenched in the group of leaders in the 66 kg weight category. In addition to Albiev, the reigning European champion Ambako Vachadze plays in it, but we still have time before London. And he has something to work on with Sergei Sitnikov.

Adam also believes that he fought well.

– For a solid four. He made an offensive mistake in the final, lost concentration for a moment, and Albiev immediately took advantage of it. But he defended his diploma a day after arriving in Krasnoyarsk with excellent marks, – smiles Adam, – so you can safely prepare for international tournaments together with Khuchbarov and Melnikov. We do not yet know who will go to Azeibarjan, who will go to Kazakhstan, and who will go to Poland. And what’s the difference, everywhere you have to fight well. And better – excellent. I’ll be back, we’ll think with Sergei Vasilyevich, whether I should go to graduate school at the Institute of Combat Sports, which I graduated from, or get a second higher education. Most likely – economic.

Aslanbek Khushtov, like Nazir Mankiev, among the other first numbers of the Russian national team, was released from participation in the championship. However, the gold in the Khushtov category did not remain homeless. It was obtained in three periods in a difficult final match by Nikita Melnikov. At first, he started the tournament somehow sluggishly and unconvincingly. Mikhail Gamzin had to have a tough talk with Nikita, and things got better.

– After the psychological thrashing, in which our Olympians also took part, Melnikov began to fight more actively, – the coach says, – we still managed to relieve some numbness, stiffness in the guy. As a result, starting with the fight for reaching the finals, Melnikov finally got hold of tricks. In the final, Nikita was opposed by the Honored Master of Sports, a contender for a trip to Beijing, prize-winner of the European Championship Vasily Teploukhov. The fight lasted three periods. In the decisive – Melnikov snatched the victory. True, the judges did not immediately give Nikita two well-deserved points, and I had to throw a chip on the carpet. After a long analysis of the episode recorded on video, in which the chief judges and Dmitry Georgievich Mindiashvili took part, we managed to defend a fair decision.

It is worth noting the rather successful performance at the Russian championship of Armen Kazaryan and Gabriel Yeprikyan, who took fifth and ninth places in their weight categories, respectively. And the team of the Krasnoyarsk Territory became the bronze medalist of the championship, losing only to Mosvich and Krasnodar.

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