Viktor Alekseev: “There has always been a KGB man in the national team”

Two-time world champion in freestyle wrestling, Viktor Alekseev, after completing his career, worked as a coach of the USSR and Russian national teams for twenty years. Prepared by the Olympic champion Adam Saytiev. Now he heads the national team of the region and dreams of raising another triumphant of the main games of the four years.

– Viktor Petrovich, was the struggle stronger in your time than now?

– Each time has its own struggle. But I will say this: today I watch my fights in the recordings, when I was 20-25 years old, now there should be that fight. Brothers Beloglazov, Khadartsev, Fadzaev, Ivan Sergeevich Yarygin … Yes, that fight is more beautiful than today’s, brighter. First of all, we had a more diverse arsenal. Sixty percent of the techniques we did are now forgotten. If someone understands the essence of these techniques, he can become a leader. Of course, after the rules were changed, there were changes for the better, the wrestlers began to earn more points. But still a rather meager modern struggle.

We began to work less on technology. We repeated the same movement a thousand times. Sometimes it got boring. But then we understood that in this way we brought everything to perfection. Of course, it should be noted that today the competitions are held on the same day. To get four to five fights in a few hours, you need to be super ready. Everything must be taken into account. But at the same time, the guys train three times a day. Why are they tired? I don’t understand this. I am almost sixty years old, but I think I can always withstand the fight.

– Do you watch your contractions often?

– Sometimes I get sad, get tired of the boring struggle and turn on the recordings. ( Laughs .) There are almost all of my fights. Some of the recordings were transferred to digital media. Something remained on the cassettes. Therefore, I do not put the VCR anywhere. Sometimes I look. And not only yourself.

– I watched several of your contractions. You seemed to be inferior in height to many.

– Before the weigh-in at the competition in the formation where all the rivals stood, I was the smallest. I thought, “How am I going to deal with them?” ( Laughs .) And when the competition began – the opinion changed: “Weaklings!” ( Laughs .)

– You fought in the category “up to 62 kilograms”. Your student Israil Kasumov weighs about the same. If you met – you are in your best years and he, who would have won?

– I always joke, I tell him: “Israil, if I had all such opponents as you, I would win the world championship ten times.” Although this guy is just a hurricane. He is now so strong that in training he is not inferior to rivals who are heavier by twenty kilograms. Losing weight, of course, takes energy. There are certain bugs that we are currently working on And so he has all the necessary qualities.

– How would you rate Kasumov’s chances of going to the 2016 Olympics?

– I think he is one of the main contenders in the category “up to 65 kilograms”. Although he has tough competition, take at least the world champion Soslan Ramonov and the European champion Magomed Kurbanaliev.

Israil has always fought in the category “up to 70 kilograms”, unfortunately, this is not an Olympic weight. We decided that in the Olympic year he will go down one category.

His first start in the new weight was great. At the end of last year, he fought at a tournament in Kazakhstan, in all fights he won victories by carcass or by a clear advantage. I said: “Israil, you took the first step towards the Olympic team.” The Yaryginsky tournament was his second start in a new category. Israil won confidently. He seriously added. Israil will now go to the European Championship. If he shows himself well, then he will approach the decisive championship of Russia more prepared from a psychological point of view.

– You have won all possible tournaments, except for the Olympics. Why didn’t you manage to conquer the main peak?

– I was the world champion of 1983 and 1985. And in 1984, our country boycotted the Los Angeles Olympic Games. This was my year. I probably couldn’t have made it to the next Olympics. Age.

– Was there a desire to quit the fight after learning about the boycott?

– There was no such desire. I was still in my prime. But it was sad. We have been preparing for the competition for four years. Camps, trainings, all intermediate tournaments have passed. And when you are ready for the decisive step, and they tell you that the national team is not going anywhere, this is a hard blow. Many have ended their careers. And I got ready and next year won all the tournaments. But he never made it to the Olympic Games.

– Could you qualify for the 1980 Olympics?

– Could. But injuries got in the way. It didn’t work out, in general. Then Magomed Abushev from Dagestan became the Olympic champion in my weight category. Six months after his triumph, we met at a tournament in Tbilisi. I won very confidently. Then they met in the final of the USSR championship. I won the victory again. I was perfectly ready for the 1984 Olympics. But it didn’t work out.

– If you had the opportunity to play one fight again, what would it be?

– I remember almost all of my fights. He fought four times at the world championships. I took bronze, silver and gold twice. At the debut championship, I became the second. He was young, not too experienced. In the final he lost only a point to the Japanese. Now, if that fight was returned. Since then, since 1977, I have never lost to the Japanese again. Although I met with them often.

In 1981, the second unsuccessful world championship for me took place. I came to him as a favorite, I was very confident in myself. But he lost to the Pole. The fight ended with a score of 7: 7. But the opponent made the last effective action, so they gave the victory to him. After the World Cup, I met with this Pole twice. And both times he just destroyed it. Didn’t feel like a fighter. Therefore, I would also have to fight again at the World Championships.

– Not so long ago you were a deputy of the City Council. What are your impressions of this work?

– Good impressions. On the one hand, I took a lot for myself, learned a lot. Political life was in plain sight. We discussed the slightest problems of the city. I was a member of two commissions and received citizens. I developed useful communication skills, learned to speak. It’s a great experience. On the other hand, the work in the city council took a lot of time. To the detriment of the fight. I came to trainings a little later.

– Is political overtones important for fighters? For example, is there a special attitude towards the Americans now due to the strained relations between the countries?

– There is no such thing now. And in our time it was impossible to lose. Then only gold was valued. For silver and bronze, they could be expelled from the team. They have always called for more active attunement to Americans and Germans.

I remember when we went to tournaments in the eighties, the interviews were held in the Central Committee of the party. And at the competitions, especially if they were held in America, there was a KGB man on the team. When our troops entered Afghanistan, we were told: “If you are asked provocative questions on this topic, answer that you have come to compete and not engage in politics.” Learned what words to say.

There were no major provocations. But some not very pleasant moments happened. I remember talking to journalists in a crowded arena. One of them asked, they say, how is life in Siberia. I replied that this is the best place on Earth. The hall buzzed with displeasure.

– Do you have a dream related to fighting?

– There are even two of them. I want the Krasnoyarsk Territory national team to be the strongest in Russia. And the second dream is to prepare another Olympic champion. The first was Adam Saytiev. The second, hopefully, will be Israil Kasumov.

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