Three-time European freestyle wrestling champion Opan Sat made his debut in the Turkish national team under the name Genghis Khan Erdogan in 2017.
In Krasnoyarsk with Opan we met at the Open Regional Tournament in memory of Valery Dzodzikov.
– Are you visiting?
– At a tournament, yes, as a guest. In general, I live in Krasnoyarsk, here is my family – my wife and daughter. I go abroad only for training camps and competitions.
– Why did you decide to play for Turkey?
– At the time when I won the European Championship for the third time, I lived in a service apartment. By that time he had already married, of course, I wanted to have my own home. After all, I will not fight all my life. I went with this question to the sports leadership and received a negative answer. And when the offer from Turkey was received, I agreed.
– Is the housing issue cleared now?
– Issued a mortgage.
– How did you join the team, what is it like to be a legionnaire at all?
– At first, of course, when I arrived there, I was a stranger to them, not their own person. They looked at me askance and in any area they wanted to compete with me, to show their advantage. In some moments, I had to answer, for example, there were incidents with heavy weights. But time goes by, people gradually learn me who I am, what I am worth and what I am. Now our relations have improved a lot. Well, about what it’s like to be a legionnaire, for example, it’s hard to get a massage (laughs). There are other minor issues as well.
– You represented the Krasnoyarsk Territory at the Yaryginsky tournament for many years, and last year you came out under the flag of Turkey. Did you feel any discomfort playing for another country?
– In principle, everything inside me was the same, but the opinion of others was divided, and so much that I can’t even explain.
– Was it accused of treason?
– There were no direct accusations, after all, this is a modern sport, now there are many places where legionnaires perform. It was so before me, and it will be.
– You now have a new name – Genghis Khan Erdogan? Why was the name changed? Is this a requirement of the Turkish side?
– Well, as a requirement, this is the choice of the person who supervises me. He gave me this name in a telephone conversation, I nodded in the affirmative, thinking that he was joking as usual. But it turned out that he was not joking. So, in fact, I became Genghis Khan Erdogan. This name is honorable and respected, it is a great responsibility to wear it.
– Are you planning to compete for the awards of the Yaryginsky tournament next year?
– At the last tournament, unfortunately, I didn’t even reach the semifinals. I analyzed it to myself and came to the conclusion that in that performance I had lost myself. There was a break in his sports career, plus the injuries affected, and the frequent losses did their job. I will try to compete at the next tournament, because fifty percent of the audience are fans from Tuva, I would like to please them.
– How is your career in the Turkish national team going?
– The only thing I can brag about is the bronze medal at the Grand Prix in Tbilisi. Unfortunately, at the World Championships last year I was left behind the medalists.
– The desire to fight and again, so to speak, to be on horseback? Or are you considering ending your wrestling career?
– You know, the feeling is twofold. It’s one thing when everything is going uphill for you, and accordingly the mood is appropriate. Another – when you lose, there is already a different line of thought. For now, my goal is to make it to the 2020 Olympics. If I succeed, it will be great.
– Sooner or later you will have to give up the fight anyway, did you think what you will do next?
– Our head coach Viktor Petrovich Alekseev asked me exactly the same question. He said that he always has a place for me. Thanks to Viktor Petrovich for his indifference, because the fight is the only thing I can do best.
– That is, plans to become a coach?
– Wait and see, I don’t like to guess.
– You have a daughter, how old is she now?
– She is two years and three months old, we called her Orgaaday, which translated into Russian means ginseng – the root of life. I gave this name to her, I called it that on purpose, I want my daughter to become a doctor in the future, this is one of my favorite professions.
– What does your name mean?
– My grandmother named me. Opan means nimble, agile.