Interview of Taleh Mammadov (63 kg), Greco-Roman wrestler of the Azerbaijani national team, on Idman.biz website
- How do you evaluate the performance of our wrestlers on the first day of the European Championship held in Bucharest, the capital of Romania?
- The performance of our wrestlers on the first day was encouraging. 4 of our athletes in 5 weights advanced to the semi-finals. In this sense, we are leading among European countries.
- Whose performance surprised you the most, positively and negatively?
- We were very happy with Rashad Mammadov's fight. Despite playing in a major tournament for the first time, he reached the finals. Sanan Suleymanov's loss was disappointing. Because no one expected defeat from him. We thought Sana would win the gold medal. But it's a sport. Sometimes when you prepare well, you can't wrestle more than 1 fight. Sometimes you win a medal when you are unprepared. This happened many times in Sana itself. But actually it's good for him to be like that. After that, I think he will prepare a little more responsibly and win an Olympic medal.
- Do you expect Rashad Mammadov to beat Eldeniz Azizli's main rival Nugzari Tsurtsumia from Georgia?
- We did not expect him to wrestle like this. Somewhere we hoped that he would win the third place. A bronze medal in his first major tournament would have been a big result for him, but Rashad surprised the whole team.
- What can you say about Murad Mammadov's performance in your weight? Can he defeat Ukrainian Oleksandr Hrushyni n the final?
- We expected Murad to perform like this. He is the finalist of the last world championship. I expected Mammadov's opponent to be Leri Abuladze from Georgia in the decisive match. But he lost. The Ukrainian who defeated him advanced to the final. Murad has more chances to become European champion.
- Do you think it is more advisable for Murad to stay at 63 kg or move to the Olympic weight of 60 kg?
- Sometimes it is difficult to say something about athletes from the outside. It is their choice. Murad also proved himself in 60 kg. He also spoke in 63 kg. He wants to laugh at Olympic weight. Murad has European and world medals. He wants an Olympic medal. He will have a fight with Nihat Mammadli in this weight. He will also wrestle if he advises as the coaches do.
- What prevented Beka Kandelaki and Islam Abbasova from reaching the finals?
- Compared to previous years, Beka is in better shape this year. His wrestling with Riza Kayaal showed that he was very well prepared. Islam, like him, fought better when looking at the previous years. If he had not made a mistake at the start of the semi-final, he would have advanced to the final. I think he will prepare better for the license tournament in Baku and qualify for the Olympic Games.
- What are the expectations from your teammates who will start the fight today?
- Each of our athletes who will join the fight today has more chances to advance to the semi-finals. There are some weights that we are even waiting for the championship. I think Hasrat Jafarov, Ulvi Ganizade and Rafig Huseynov will win the gold medal. Nihat Mammadli's chances of winning a medal are 90 percent. I can say the same about Murad Ahmadiyev. I wish all my teammates good luck.
- In conclusion, how many medals do you expect from our Greco-Roman team and how many of them can be gold?
- I expect 7 medals. I think 3 or 4 of them will be gold.