Yury Shakhmuradov: ‘Hungry and angry succeed in Wrestling’

Head coach of the Russian women’s Wrestling team in his interview with the ROC Information Center summed up the results of the European Championships, held in Kaspiysk, and complained that in our country this Olympic sport is not common enough; and girls, who take this sport, lack anger and aggressiveness.

– The organizers of the Championships in Dagestan, where Wrestling is much like a religion, invested a lot of effort to rise to the occasion, all the more so, because enemies try to throw sand in the wheels, said Yury Shakhmuradov. I think that the competitions were held at a high level. There are not enough hotels in the Republic. They found a way out and built an analogue of the Olympic village. All participants stayed at the health resort by the Caspian Sea. It is noteworthy that the UWW President and member of the IOC Executive Committee Nenad Lalovich even suggested that this experience can be borrowed by the organizers of other competitions.

But the most important thing is sorts results. In men’s Free-Style Wrestling we have a strong team since the Soviet times; however the choice of women athletes is very poor.

The World Championships, held in the end of August last year in Paris, was our failure, because 2016 Olympic Games silver medalist Valeria Koblova and the winnwe of the European championships Lubov Ovcharova got heavy injuries at it. Both young athletes were well prepared, but were sidelined for approximately a year and a half. Bronze medalist of the Rio Games Yekaterina Bukina also was not there because of the injuries. As a result, in France we won only one bronze. Valeria Lazinskaya did that, but then she got an injury and could not go to Kaspiysk, as well as the talented Angela Fomenko, who got operated late last year and will return by autumn at best.

– How is Vorobyova doing, our first and only Olympic champion in women’s Wrestling? Does her back still hurt?

She is waiting for a baby. Thus she might return next year.

– Despite the loses, before the Championships in Kaspiysk, did you set the task to win in the overall standings?

Taking into account, that the competitions were held in Russia, the goal could not be different. All the more so, because we took the first place at the last year’s European Championships in Serbia. Two gold and one silver medals were enough for that. Now our goal was to take three gold medals.

We started to think, who could have win those. We counted on the 2017 European champion Anastasia Bratchikov, Stalvira Orshush, Yekaterina Bukina, Inna Tragukova, as well as 2015 European champion and three-time prize winner of the World Championships Irina Ologonova. I consider their performance to be satisfactory.

Although if we compare with the last year’s results, the progress is obvious. In Novi Sad we won 3 medals, now we won 8. It is pleasing that we have medals in all the Olympic weight categories.

– Whose performance did you like particularly?

– Stalvira Orshush’s. The girl from Buryatia showed a beautiful fight in the finals. She left Vanessa Kolodinska, last year’s world and European champion from Belarus, no

– We can not blame Olonogova for the second place. Not only did she suffer an injury, she also got sick. It was evident that Irina was far from the best shape. Bukina made a lot of mistakes and lost to the last year’s world and European champion Yasemin Adar from Turkey.

– Meanwhile in Rio, she defeated the Turk…

– But then lost to the ‘old lady’ (38 years) Guzel Manyurova, of Kazakhstan. Unfortunately, Yekaterina lacks stability.

Finally, Trazhukova was defeated by the experienced Bulgarian Taib Yusein, four-time medalist of the World Championships. In the previous fight, she convincingly defeated her constant opponent. Inna has problems with tactics and technical skills.

– What weight categories do you consider problematic?

– First of all, under 72 kg. Alena Perepelkina performed in this category and adhering to the sports principle, we included a 36-year-old sportswoman into the team. However, in Kaspiysk she did not win anything, and we came to the conclusion that it was time to say ‘thank you’ to the veteran. We should better work with the younger athletes. The problem is that there are no obvious candidates, in the -68 kg weight category there is also not much choice.

– But in it at Russia a gold medal of Bratchikova. But without awards, our team remained in the category – 65 kg.

– This is not the Olympic weight category. We counted on Yulia Prontsevich, the bronze medalist of the European Championships of 2016, but she was defeated by the European champion Masha Kuznetsova in the qualification fight. Thus we decided to let the young show themselves. But in Kaspiysk Kuznetsova did not show anything.

In this regard, in the near future we are going the tournament in Mongolia, where both Japanese and American women teams will arrive. The tournament will be held from 7 to 12 June, and before that we go to Buryatia. From there we will go to Mongolia by bus.

In this country, different types of wrestling are popular, including women’s. Mongolian girls, short-legged and squat, with a low center of gravity, they stand firmly on their feet and are full of the desire to win on the wrestling mat.

By the way, I have worked with men for many years; and comparing, I came to the conclusion that our girls are too soft, not aggressive enough. The guys, after loosing, always wants to take revenge, at all costs. I do not see such a passion in the girls’ characters. Ukrainian girls have such angry eyes before the battle. They can tear their opponents.

– Especially, the Russians, right?

– Everyone! They have a special style. Americans are always motivated to fight to the end. Or take Dagestan wrestlers. In everyday life, this may be a well educated person, but inside he is a gangster. When I headed the women’s national team before the 2012 Olympic Games, I thought that the talents for it should be drawn among the workers of the track, who hammer the heavy railway crutches, or some plasterers who do not know fear at height.

Do you know how Vorobyova got into wrestling? She was working in the yard with her mother digging up potatoes, when accidentally a coach saw her. ‘Do you want to try yourself in sports? Come to the gym.’ Natalia came, then she moved to St. Petersburg. And now she is an Olympic champion and the winner of the world championships! A great example for other girls.

– Money and fame did not spoil Vorobyova?

– Of course, it is difficult. After winning the London Games, Natalia sometimes began skip training sessions and starts, referring to back pain. Before the Olympics in Rio she suddenly changed her coach. I call it ‘the girl started to fool around’. But even in such a situation, due to talent and furious motivation, she almost won the second Olympic gold. She failed by just 24 seconds…

– Vorobyova will perform at the 2020 Games?

– Knowing Natalia, I am sure: she will go to the third Olympics. Her talent and charisma should bring her to Tokyo.

– You have repeatedly complained about the lack of competition in the women’s team. Things change?

– Unfortunately, women’s free-style wrestling is not a mass sport. Compare the amount of women’s and men’s applications for the Russian Championships. In the first case, well, it is good if we get 120 applications. As for the men’s championship there are sometimes 1000 people, or even 1200, including 500-600 juniors. With such a great choice, it is easy for the coaches to work with the men’s team. And for me it is difficult. We have to think of something every time. Now I found a girl who can compete with Bukina. Tall, strong… but I’m afraid it will be ten years before she becomes a top-class athlete.

In due time, many promising girls grew up in Yegoryevsk. However, until 2014, none of them managed to win even the European championship. And then, together with the new coaching staff, it was done by Maria Gurova, and Valeria Koblova, and Anastasia Bratchikova, who, by the way, at some point almost finished her career. Another representative of the Yegoryevsk school, Valeria Lazinskaya, won the European games in Baku in 2015. They now have something to be proud of! And on the mat these girls are not super But they’re well-trained.
Once Vitaly Mutko came to the training camp in Sochi. I reminded him of the promise to help women’s wrestling. Six sets of Olympic medals will be at stake, as much as in men’s Freestyle and in Greco-Roman wrestling. Mutko said directly: ‘The Federation alone will not be able cope with that. The state should help’.

– Did Vitaliy Leontyevich help?

– He gave instructions to work out the issue of creating training grounds in 10 regions, which we have chosen as the most promising. These are St. Petersburg, Moscow, Buryatia, Dagestan, Krasnoyarsk and others. But such issues are not quickly resolved, a lot of paperwork.

In the meantime, it turns out that the girls work 130 days a year at the centralized training camp, and the rest of the time, being at home, they train through the stump deck. No condition. And local coaches are quite They are undemanding, they fear that athletes will go to another specialist.

But the main thing is the infrastructure. Without it, we will not move things forward.

– Has the schedule of preparation for the October World Cup in Budapest already been worked out?

– In addition to the competition in Mongolia, the women’s team will take part in international tournaments in China (from 21 to 25 June) and Canada (from 5 to 10 July). It is a pity that due to problems with visas we will not be able to go to the United States, and the tournament in Germany was canceled due to the organizers’ refusal. An extra competitive practice would have been good for the girls. And the final phase of preparation for the World Cup will take place in three places: Kislovodsk, the Lake Round and Sochi.

– How can the team composition change before the main start of the season?

– Unfortunately, we can not count on hose who are now recovering from injuries. Koblova, according to our calculations, should return by the end of the year. We are waiting for Vorobyova in the next season. Then, I hope, Lazinskaya, Fomenko, Ovcharova and other girls whom we missed at the European championships will return as well. In general, the potential of the current team, provided that everyone will be ok, is higher than in the last Olympic cycle.