“We do not have to follow the example of judoists”, said Yuri Shakhmuradov

Head coach of the Russian women’s freestyle wrestling team in his interview to the ROC Information Service told about the new system of training, qualification criteria  for the 2017 World Championships and about the reasons of Natalya Vorobyova’s and Valeria Koblova’s defeat in the final contest at the Rio Olympics.

– After analysing the performance of the women’s team at the Rio Olympics, the coaching staff of the Russian Wrestling Federation  decided that in the period of preparation for the main start our leaders lacked competition practice, mentioned Yuri Shakhmuradov. – For example, Natalya Vorobyova participated only in two tournaments before the Olympic Games. She was defeated in one of them and she won in the Championship of Russia, where she had no worthy opponents. I think that  lack of competition tone and not health issues, became the main reason of Vorobyova’s defeat in the final fight against Sara Dosho of Japan. The same is true concerning Valeria Koblova. One of them missed the   Olympic gold medal by 20 seconds, and the other one by 8 secons. And Yekaterina Bukina turned out second in the semifinal after winning 8:2. I cannot remember such a bad luck within one tournament! But all the same, our athletes haven’t participated in enough battles against their main opponents  by the time they    came to Brazil. I am sure that in case Vorobyova had fights against Japaneze athletes more than once a year, the final wouldn’t have been such a misfortune. As an example we can mention Russian judoists. As Ezio Gamba came, their main focus became participating in many different tournaments. In Rio and in London we all could see how this system worked.

– Will the Russian women’s Wrestling team  preparation  scheme be changed?

– Yes, the competition load will increase, and the team will  visit training camps in the countries, which set the tone in women’s wrestling – these are Japan, Mongolia, Canada, the USA and China. This is the only way to close the competitive gap with the world leaders. By the way, we will start next year with a get-together at the Ozero Krugloye training camp. Representatives of Italy, Rumania, Kazakstan and the USA will prepare for the Ivan Yarygin Grand Prix together with Russian athletes there. A friendly match between the Siberian team and the USA team is planned for 2 February, after the competition in  Krasnoyarsk. The more practice our athletes have the better.

– Whom will we not see at the Grand Prix in Krasnoyarsk?

– Yekaterina Bukina, who will be recovering after two serious surgeries in January, and Natalya Vorobyova. We will not excuse anybody else from participating in it. On the contrary, we will invite many young girls to the training camp in January. We should increase competition in the team!

– Will the number of tournaments, in which candidates are to take part during the season, be among qualification  criterias for the 2017 World Championship
– In the time of the Soviet Union wrestlers participated in 7-8 major competitions each year. We will return to this practice.