Zelim Kotsoyev: "Three bronzes were enough, it was time to win the title" - INTERVIEW

5 November 2023 23:36
Zelim Kotsoyev: "Three bronzes were enough, it was time to win the title" - INTERVIEW

Interview of Zelim Kotsoyev, who won the gold medal at the European Judo Championship held in Montpellier, France, to the Idman.biz website.

- Congratulations, Zelim. After three bronze medals at the European Championship, you finally managed to win a gold medal. How difficult was it to achieve the goal?

- To be honest, today I was not feeling well. After the first fight, I thought everything is easy, but the second and third fights were difficult. I was able to come to my senses near the final, I was a real fighter in the meeting with Ilia Sulamanidze.

- What was the plan in the final?

- I met the Georgian opponent three times. Although I was defeated by him twice, I won the bronze medal in the World Championship. I went to the finals with the feeling that I did not want to be the winner of the European Championship. Three bronzes were enough, it was time to win the title. I said to myself: "You must do it at any cost." With the help of the head coach, I was fully focused on the victory.
Hidayat Heydarov, who won the title of European Champion yesterday, was with me every moment, he motivated me and supported me. His golden energy was transferred to me. I entered the battle in high mood. I was trying not to make a mistake and forced my opponent to do it. I waited for that moment and did the trick.

- After the victory, how do you feel?

- I still don't fully understand what happened, I just can't believe it. I remembered my parents and how I went through a difficult path. I recalled everything.

- Is the European Championship the most successful start of a golden career?

- I won a bronze medal at the World Championship twice. Of course, the joy of gold is different.

- The victory before the Olympics is also of particular importance...

- You know, all this difficult path will end with the Olympic Games. Our head coach Richard Trautmann says so. After the tournament, I will go home, take a shower and start training again the next day. There is no way to relax before Paris.

- You put the last point in Montpellier and we return to Azerbaijan with two high-quality medals. How do you evaluate the results?
- Two golds is a good result. When we came here, I was sure that we would succeed because we had worked hard. We are a team and everyone supports each other. I would like to thank the management of the federation, the coaching staff and everyone who contributed.

- Richard Trautmann was as happy as you. You seem to have a very good relationship?

- He always supports me. We have such a relationship, we understand each other very well. As they say, we have a team synergy with him. I am trying to carry out the plans of him.

- The "Grand Slam" Tournament will be held in Tokyo. Thanks to a successful result there, you can leave Sulamanidze behind and rise to the first place in the world ranking...

- I would like that very much. For now, Ilia is ahead of me in the table. I could not participate in the last "Masters" tournament due to injury. Currently, I am ranked second, but I expect to overtake Sulamanidze.

Zaki Feyzullayev