World champion, two-time European champion from Dagestan, twice visited in Yakutsk as an athlete, this time a famous wrestler is a guest at the CHEER festival.
- Good afternoon, Magomed! Before leaving Yakutia, what are your impressions?
- The schedule of our trip was very tight. Our days were mapped out to the last five-minute increment. As part of the CHEER festival we visited Udachny, Aikhal, Mirny, now we are in Yakutsk, where we held a large number of master classes. We met, first of all, with children, spoke about our sport, about what an athlete should be in order to reach the top in sports. We see that in Yakutia the desire to engage in wrestling is immense. We ourselves are very pleased with our trip to Yakutia.
It is very good that ALROSA pays such close attention to children and teenagers' sport, so that they can meet famous sportsmen without too much of officialdom. I consider the cooperation of ALROSA with sports federations, as well as with the Federation of Russian Wrestling goes in the right direction. Children should follow the good example of not only wrestlers, but of all athletes. Who knows, maybe another future athlete is growing up in Yakutia, who will show himself not only at the Russian, but also at the global level. Perhaps he was at our master classes.
- You are known as one of the most open-minded, cheerful wrestlers in the Russian national team. Do you think this helps you in life and in wrestling?
- For me the most important thing is to be human, to respect people and to be modest, champion titles and victories are not in the first place. As the national hero of the Caucasus, Imam Shamil, taught: "Ascending high, be humble, become strong, be merciful." I try to adhere to this postulate. It happens that some, reaching heights, no longer notice people. I think this is wrong.
- Do not humanity and kindness interfere in wrestling? After all, this is quite a tough martial art. Or does your natural talent help you win?
- No, victories come only to those who sweat guts out day and night. I met athletes much more talented than me. But many of them did not become big champions. In many respects, because they just thought that due to their talent it is possible to goldbrick. Only through labor one can reach heights.
As for passion to win, I have it, of course, it appears on the mat. No way round it. I even like it when the opponent starts to fight me hard. To this I try to respond with my own tricks and holds, I wake up, I become more concentrated.
- How would you characterize your wrestling style?
- I try to be diverse: I can be tough, I can fight more technically, gently. It all depends on the opponent. I need to find a key to everyone.
- Surely many lovers of wrestling watched the video program Wrestling Environment with your participation, when you said that in Russia you especially enjoy wrestling in Yakutia. What is the reason? Why did you say so?
- Yes, I always liked to wrestle in Yakutia. There are always full stands and excellent fans. They are well versed in wrestling and do not divide into "us" and "them." Of course, they especially cheer their own people, but if a guest shows good wrestling, he will always be rewarded with applause and praise. It is very nice. You feel the atmosphere of a real sports festival.
- Anyway wrestling is in your genes. As I know, your elder brothers are wrestlers, too, and among your grandfathers there were also famous athletes.
- Yes, my grandfather from my mother's side was a famous wrestler in his time. He was engaged in the Georgian wrestling Chidaoba (the village of Bezhta, where Magomed comes from, is located on the border with Georgia - Author's note). They say my great-grandfather was a very strong man. My father and uncle practiced judo. My mother's cousin was a five-time world champion in sambo wrestling, the winner of the World Cup and Europe. So I followed in their footsteps.
And my elder brothers were also freestylers. Shamil twice was the champion of the North Caucasus Federal District. He had the best technique of the three of us, but injury prevented him from going any further. And my eldest brother Dzhamalutdin, by the way, was the third winner of the Russian championship here in Yakutsk, in 2011, in the weight category up to 66 kg. He then lost to Mavlet Batirov.
- Would you like your children to wrestle?
- First of all, it is important that the guys go in for sports. Any sport. Now all children spend too much time in front of a computer and their smartphones. I think that this does not benefit anyone. In our childhood, we spent all the time outside. We wrestled, even played hockey. We helped relatives with the housework. In the summer we made hay; in the winter, we looked after cattle. But I will not force my children to wrestle. My parents never forced me either. Rather the opposite. I remember my father didn’t even let me workout when I had bad grades at school (laughs). It was a punishment for me.
By the way, in the Russian national team, almost all athletes come from villages. They all went through labor; everyone knows that victories come only thanks to a lot of work.
- And who would you single out of the Yakut wrestlers? Maybe you like someone's wrestling?
-- I wrestled with Viktor Rassadin as part of the national team in Los Angeles at the World Cup. And I like that he always fights to the end, throwing his heart into the fight and goes all out on the mat. He has an attacking, spectacular style. I know that Yakut fans are waiting for medals from the Olympic Games. I think that soon your wrestlers will delight their fans. In addition, the youth is on the way. Here at the master class I met a wrestler with whom I used to be together in the Russian team. This is the winner of Russia Pyotr Sivtsev. And, as I learned, he is now a coach. I think that young mentors will also bring more than one medal from major tournaments.
- You are also known for having managed to change several weight categories during your sports career. That is, you do not like to fight the flab. Do you think you have a chance to wrestle at the Olympic Games in weight up to 74 kg?
- Yes, with the current rules, when it is necessary to fight the flab for two days of the competition, this is very hard for me, so I decided to switch to Olympic weight up to 74 kg as soon as possible. I could compete in weight up to 70 kg, but I will strive to get into the team for Tokyo. I have medals of the World and European Championships, but not yet the Olympic one.
- I know that you are now keeping a fast (Ramadan is the holy month for Muslims), but I still think that you managed to taste some dishes of the Yakut cuisine.
- Yes, upon arrival I was very warmly welcomed by your famous wrestler, now the director of the National Team Training Center, Leonid Spiridonov. For which I am most grateful. I, first of all, liked fish. Very tasty. By the way, I'm a lover of fishing. Since childhood, I loved to go to the mountain rivers for trout. But I do not like hunting.
- This is your third visit to Yakutia. But when you came here for the first time, what impressed you most of all here?
- You know, I was surprised that in such a seemingly rich republic some people live in very difficult conditions. Next to the school of the Olympic reserve, where we stayed, there is a residential quarter, where people just live in hutments. I hope that the authorities will be able to help everyone who needs help. I also noticed then that the tap water was very dirty, and now I see that this problem is no longer there, and the water has become much cleaner. After all, we all came to this world not forever, and we must try to ensure that our next generation, our children, live better.
Stepan POSELSKY, Sportyakutia.ru