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Azerbaijani judoka: 'Hallmark doesn't matter, if only get a medal in Rio' - INTERVIEW

Rustam Orujov: 'I cannot say number, but we will win medals'

Baku. 13 July. REPORT.AZ/ Report News Agency presents an interview of European judo champion Rustam Orujov, who will represent Azerbaijan in 2016 Rio Olympics.

- How was a training camp in Spain?

- The camp went well. Many teams arrived. There were many judokas from Asian, European and African continents. In the mornings we had physical trainings as well practical trainings in the evenings. We worked non-stop for a week.

- Your competitions have already been completed. What are plans for the remaining period of the Olympics?

- Currently, we are at training camp in Shahdagh Winter-Summer Tourism Complex in Gusar. Then we will leave for the camp in Berlin, capital of Germany and then directly to Rio de Janeiro.

- Will lack of official contest experience adversely affect to your fight at the Olympic Games?

- We gain experience through training camps. But official competitions have a risk of injury. You should lose weight for each tournament. It affects level of preparation. We shouldn't get injured shortly before the Olympic Games.

- Your weight category 73 kg is the only category, at which Azerbaijan has won Olympic championship as an independent country. Does desire to repeat the success of Elnur Mammadli increase your responsibility?

- Not only for this factor, but in general, I want to win a medal in the Olympics. It will be the second Summer Olympic Games, at which I will take part. I couldn't gain a medal at London-2012. But at that time I was only at 21 years. But now, I have already trained and increased my techniques and tactics. This time I want to win a medal.

- Is there a difference in medal hallmark for you?

- No, it does not matter to me. If only to get a medal. Of course, I will try to show the maximum result. But value of Olympic medal is higher, regardless of its hallmark.  

- Everybody expected a gold medal from you on the ‘Grand Slam’ in May, but you were satisfied with the bronze one. If you could not take advantage of the home ground factor, will not it be difficult for you to reach good results in Rio de Janeiro?

- In judo you can win the opponent who defeated you last time. Besides, the Ukrainian athlete Dmitry Kanivets who defeated me in 1/4 final will not enroll the Games. In this sport it is impossible to say who is strong and who is weak. Everything depends on being fit.

- In general, what is Azerbaijani judo team capable of at the Olympics?

- It is possible to observe athletes at the time of training. I can say that most of them are prepared. I cannot say how many medals will we win, but we will win. You will see everything at the Olympics.

- Coach Peter Zayzenbaher always sits in the stands and does not seem at the edge of the mat during fights. Does not this factor negatively affect your performance?

- It is easier to see what is happening on the mat from the stands. Also, Zayzenbaher’s assistant, Movlud Miraliyev usually presents on the edge of the mat. The head coach gives his instructions to Miraliyev.. He communicates closely with us during training, explains many things. He is a serious man and does not like giving interviews.

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