Rustam Alimli: "Gurban Gurbanov deserved the 1st place" - INTERVIEW

28 December 2023 17:24
Rustam Alimli: "Gurban Gurbanov deserved the 1st place" - INTERVIEW

Interview of Rustam Alimli, coach of the Azerbaijan national judo team, who was third in the "Best Coach of the Year" nomination, to

- You were awarded as one of the best coaches at the Gala ceremony organized by the Ministry of Youth and Sports. Do you expect to be in the trio?

- There were names of very strong coaches among the candidates. When I analyzed my results, I saw that the Azerbaijani junior judo team, which I am also the head coach of, really showed a fantastic result this year. If we look at the results, there is no other sport that has won as many medals as us. I believed that I would be in the first "three". I had my doubts just because I got these results in juniors. It was very pleasant. Gurban Gurbanov deserved the 1st place. Azerbaijan has done great things in football.

- Then we can call the year unforgettable for you?

- This year was very successful for both me and Azerbaijan Judo Federation. Such a result has not been registered in our federation, which has been operating for 51 years. We were first in all the competitions we took part in. It really was a fantastic year. I didn't expect it myself. The Federation and the coaching staff also had a big role in this. President of Azerbaijan Mr. Ilham Aliyev also appreciated these successes. I was given an apartment. I was selected as one of the best coaches of the year. This is a great motivation for me. I must work even harder in the new year so that it is not said that I received these awards in vain. I will do my best to make myself right again.

- Which of your successes is more valuable?

- The most memorable victory was in the world championship. 2 Azerbaijani athletes with the same surname appeared in the final. Nihat Mamishov and Mahammad Mamishov became rivals to each other. We haven't won a gold medal from the World Cup for a long time. It was very memorable.

- Do you think that teenagers who are world and European champions will be successful among adults in the future?

- Among the teenagers, Muhammad Musayev is the world champion in 60 kg and is a finalist of the European Games. After watching his performances, the coaches took him to the U-23 European Championship, where he won a bronze medal despite being a teenager. Ramazan Ahmadov, the European champion in the lower age group, wrestled for the "bronze" of the World Cup in his first appearance in the youth group. This is already a signal. Abil Yusifov, Suleyman Shukurov won the gold medal at the youth world championship. I can say with certainty that these teenagers will have their say.

- What are your thoughts on the national team consisting of adults?

- The atmosphere in the team is very good. We are all preparing for the Paris 2024 Summer Olympics. The main goal of our judokas is the Olympics. We don't want to perform there, we want to win a medal. I believe that we will have at least 2 medals in Paris-2024. One of them will be a gold award.

- If you name them, who would you single out?

- The atmosphere of the Olympics is completely different. If it's an athlete's day, anyone can win a medal. But if we look at the progress, Zelim Kotsoyev or Hidayat Heydarov can win a gold medal. There are many chances.

- What are your future goals?

- I am currently 37 years old. I have just started my career. I have been working in the national team since 2018. I have no intention of stopping. I am ready to fulfill any task given by the management. Regardless of which country I work for, I will do what I love.

Emin Aga