I lifted a 20kg weight at the age of 5

Arakel Mirzoyan:

I lifted a 20kg weight at the age of 5

PanARMENIAN.Net - Armenian weightlifter Arakel Mirzoyan, 20, is a European champion and World vice-champion in the 69kg weight class. In 2010, the sportsman changed the class to 77kg. Presently, he is training for the World Championships to be held in Antalya, Turkey, in September. PanARMENIAN.Net requested Arakel to tell about his plans for the future.
You have changed the weight class and decided to withdraw from the European Championships. Why did you and your coach [Arakel is trained by his father, Olympic champion Oksen Mirzoyan] take the decision?
I have competed in the 69kg weight class for two years. But it was time to change the class due to weight problems. Having to lose weight, I lost strength at the same time. After changing the class, I feel much better. I think I could win gold or silver if I participated in the European Championships but we decided that I should withdraw from it to train for the World Championships and win the champion’s title.

You do not train with the national team? Why?
I have always trained alone. I think it’s the best way to succeed. I am coached by my father. Oksen Mirzoyan and I got accustomed to such trainings.

It takes huge efforts to win gold... How are you planning to succeed?
I was training in Tsaghkadzor for some time. Now, I am training at home, and then I will probably continue in Feodosia, Ukraine. I must do my utmost to improve my record and win gold at the impending World Championships.

You are trained by your father, an Olympic champion? How goes it?
It’s easy and difficult at the same time. I try to do everything as he says. It’s an honor to have such a coach. He is very strict and cautious about details. I do not want to do him a bad turn, as my defeat is his defeat as well.

Is there any weightlifter you would like to resemble?
There are photographs of my father’s friends in our house. When I was a small boy I thought about the weight Yuri Vardanyan or Yuri Sargsyan could lift and I dreamt to be like them. I knew that I must train hard for it. It was an honor when Yuri Vardanyan came to see me training a couple of days ago.

Weightlifting is not easy. It demands concentration, willpower and persistence. What are the main qualities for a weightlifter, in your opinion?
Any sportsman should first of all be well prepared. Sometimes, during the competition, you can’t lift a weight that you lifted during training. It’s very important to be concentrated, to sleep and eat in time and also exclude alcohol and tobacco.

When did you decide to become a weightlifter?
I lifted a 20kg weight at the age of 5. I don’t know how I managed. But I decided to devote my life to weightlifting and I knew that it will bring me fame and respect. Sports is the right thing to do.

Hasmik Babayan / PanARMENIAN News