Nikita Melnikov: “A career as a fighter is like serving in the army”

“It’s worth a lot to beat the bronze medalist of the Olympic Games, two-time European champion Artur Aleksanyan. I considered him the strongest wrestler in the world in my weight category, which is why, of course, there was excitement before the final,” he said after the victorious meeting at the Universiade -2013 Greco-Roman wrestler from Krasnoyarsk Nikita Melnikov in Kazan. In addition to the gold medal, the athlete had many impressions, which he shared with the “Krasnoyarsk Rabochy”, he also told about the nearest plans.

– Nikita, what do you remember more, besides the competitions themselves?
– The organization of the Universiade, and the city itself – it is very beautiful. All sports facilities are harmonious. I remember the volunteers – kind, responsive. On the whole, the people in Kazan are very good, as well as the people of Krasnoyarsk.

I managed to see the night city, the Volga. Very beautiful. I liked the new semi-antique houses, next to which are the restored old ones.

– Do you think Krasnoyarsk is ready to host such competitions, because you already have something to compare with?
– I think that Krasnoyarsk is capable of hosting the Universiade-2019. Of course, there is a lot of work ahead. But everyone is already mentally ready for it and ready to help. In 2019, if we start preparing now, our city can host the Games with dignity.

In Kazan, it is noteworthy that wide roads have been made, many interchanges are provided. The Olympic Village was built. The main stadium has a huge screen – the second largest in Europe. You can watch the broadcast on it from the other end of the city.

– Was it not surprising that the Russian team won 292 medals: 155 gold, 75 silver and 62 bronze? What could be the reason for such a record number?
– Surprised. Someone says that Russia sent the strongest to the competition, but it is difficult to agree with this, since the first and second numbers were brought from all countries. I cannot judge other sports – I have not been anywhere else, I have not watched. In addition, the competition in Russia is so strong in wrestling that these competitions gave an opportunity to prove themselves to young guys who found it difficult to break out to such a level of the arena. In general, our team showed excellent results. I would like to say that mostly strong wrestlers are Siberians. These are Roman Vlasov (up to 74 kilograms), Ivan Tatarinov (up to 55 kilograms) and Ivan Kuylakov (up to 60 kilograms) – the first numbers of the country. Sergey Andrusik (up to 120 kilograms), also a Siberian, became the fifth.

– You singled out Siberians from the general list. What is the reason for the strength of our fighters?
– Siberians are tempered by nature. Our conditions are more stringent than anywhere else. Therefore, our athletes are in constant motion, they live without relaxation. And, of course, with all this, training and the work of our coaches play a huge role. We have someone to look up to – there were many famous athletes in Siberia.

– In all the fights at the Universiade, you won dry. What is the reason?
– The rules have changed. Perhaps I was better prepared for this than others …

– According to the new rules, you also fought at the Russian championship. Where was it harder to perform?
– The rules were different at the Russian Championship and the Universiade. For example, at the championship, if you let go of your head, this is a liability, but at the Universiade this was not. In general, what is the difference and what is the difference – to explain for a long time, it is better to see. While we do not know what the rules will eventually become, it will only be known in November. Where is it more difficult? It was morally more difficult at the Universiade, because after the Russian Championship, people expected more from you. This places a greater burden of responsibility on the shoulders. In addition, I was traveling alone from my university, which always supported me. I didn’t want to let him down. I didn’t want to let down the coach, who is constantly worried.

– Did any of your friends go to the Universiade to cheer for you?
– Yes, veteran wrestler Vagif Salimov is an old friend. He followed me on the train (there were no plane tickets), so he spent two days on the road. But it was worth it – I brought victory.

– Did you have to root for someone from Krasnoyarsk yourself?
– I supported rugby players, as well as they do for me. We lived in the same hotel and communicated well with Ramil Gaisin, Anna Malygina … The guys won gold, I’m happy for them. Well done. It is a pity that there was no opportunity to attend their matches, as I was preparing for the competition and the whole schedule was planned. In general, we practically did not watch anything: we were one of the last to arrive and were getting ready for the fight.

– The Universiade, like the European Championships, is behind Russia. What are your future plans?
– I hope to win the World Cup, it will be held in mid-September. And the nearest plans are a three-week training camp in Kabardino-Balkaria.

– Is it difficult with such a schedule?
– Of course. With all the camps and competitions, you almost never go home. And it’s not hard on the physical plane anymore, but on the moral plane. It’s like you’re serving in the army. And so it will be until the end of his career. You will not have a normal mode of life, way of life. Of course, there are also pluses to such a schedule. It strengthens character, gives persistence, rigidity, to some extent even dictatorship. Such experience will come in handy in life.

– How do you distract yourself from this, relax?
– There is very strong competition in Russia, so there is no time for relaxation. If you give a weakness, they will bypass you. You must always stay on course, not be distracted. The only rest is at home, when you are with family and friends. Although there are few such moments, they are the most anticipated and enjoyable.

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