Armenian wrestlers share impressions on European Championship

Armenian wrestlers share impressions on European Championship

Armenia's Greco-Roman wrestling team headed by Olympic champion Levon Julfalakyan came back home with one gold and two bronze winners.

Arthur Alexanyan (96 kg) became Europe's champion, while Arsen Julfalakyan (74kg) and Yuri Patrikeev (120kg) grabbed bronze medals. Upon their return, the wrestlers met with a PanARMENIAN.Net reporter.

PanARMENIAN.Net - Champion of Europe, 21-year-old Arthur Alexanyan said he was happy to get his first adult gold medal. “I am very happy and proud to have won the gold medal; it is a great honor for my country as well. The championship proved wonderful for me, the most challenging part being the 1/8 final clash against Ukraine’s Sergei Rutenko, but I managed to win,” Alexanyan said.

Julfalakyan said prior to the championship, the coaching staff expected Alexanyan to perform well because he demonstrated good training. “As the chief coach of the team, I am very pleased and happy to have such a talented wrestler,” he said.

The chief coach said he is pleased with the team’s performance, with 3 out of 7 wrestlers gaining medals. He said all members of the team fought fiercely and achieved good results. “I can state that some lacked experience, but we managed to secure 5th place in team event,” he said.

Coach Julfalakyan said his son Arsen Julfalakyan was in good shape and demonstrated nice clashes.

For his part, Arsen Julfalakyan mentioned that the championship appeared to be unexpected because of terrible judging. “Three months are left before the Olympics, and such refereeing is unacceptable. Our main goal at European Championship was preparation for the rating tournaments,” he said.

Commenting on his participation in the tournament, the wrestler said his clash for the 3rd place turned out to be somewhat weak, but the most important is that he managed to win.

Coach of the team is pleased with Patrikeev’s performance as well, irrespective of the gained medal. Patrikeev believes Armenian team did well at the championship. “As to my fight, I can say I made a mistake which hindered me from seeking the champion’s title,” he admitted.

Freestyle wrestling

David Safaryan (66kg) representing Armenian freestyle wrestling team grabbed a bronze medal. Chief coach of the team Araik Baghdadyan said he is not contented with his wrestlers’ performance.

“I’d say the performance went well because we won a medal, but I expected far more from the European Championship because I knew that our wrestlers were ready for the tournament,” Baghdadyan stated.

Immediately after the European Championship, freestyle wrestlers set to preparing for the rating tournaments. They are facing a challenging task of rectifying the mistakes of the European Championship.

Championship judging and the case with Roman Amoyan

Most of tournament participants were dissatisfied with the judging, the referees being biased and making faults.

A disappointing incident occurred with Armenian wrestler, twice champion of Europe, world’s silver medal winner and Olympic bronze winner Roman Amoyan (55kg).

Amoyan faced off against Azerbaijan’s Elchin Aliyev, the clash being held in a nasty atmosphere. The chief coach of the Armenian team said the Azeri wrestler behaved as if he came for a street fight. Despite this, the arbiters seemed to overlook Aliyev’s behaviour and recognized him as the winner. Following the meeting, the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles (FILA) disqualified Armenia’s Amoyan for his refusal to shake hands with the rival at the end of the clash, and all arbiters. “Nothing can be done now; FILA should’ve made some moves during the clash because such refereeing is unacceptable,” Julfalakyan said.

Amoyan’s future fate will be decided at FILA meeting which will also discuss mistakes of the arbiters. Julfalakyan believes disqualification will not affect Amoyan’s further clashes since he is going to participate in the rating tournament in Bulgaria in late April.

“I hope FILA will take the right decision. If this ruling influences the career of our wrestler, our Federation, the Olympic Committee and the Ministry of Sport will undertake certain actions,” the coach added.

All meetings between Armenian and Azerbaijani wrestlers at international and European tournaments have sparked huge interest, and representatives of both countries have recorded victories and defeats. “We take all wrestlers, including Azerbaijani representatives, as our rivals during the clash. The whole world knows Amoyan’s strength, and many wrestlers, including the Azerbaijanis, fear facing him off,” Julfalakyan mentioned.

Gohar Nalbandyan, Hasmik Babayan / PanARMENIAN News
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