​ErmekImanbekov:We were successful at World Championship

15:00 | 27 august 2013

Little time is left till the beginning of the World Judo Championship and our sportsmen have already left for Rio de Janeiro for preparation for the championship and acclimatization. During the recent training camp of the national team in Borovoe we had an opportunity to talk to head coach of the national judo team of Kazakhstan Ermek Imanbekov. Formerly, he occupied a position of the head coach of the youth judo team of Kazakhstan and in March 2013 he was appointed head coach of the adult men’s team of the country. As earlier reported, the World Judo Championship will be held in Brazilian Rio de Janeiro from August 26 through September 1, 2013.

- Mr. Imanbekov, How many sportsmen have you brought to the training camp?

- In total, there are 139 people.

- What is your plan for preparation and training of the athletes?

- We have been through almost all stages within the framework of preparation for the World Championship. The first stage was training in the middle attitude, 18 days. Then, there was second stage which coincided with the tournament in Moscow. Now, we are in Borovoe, this is the third stage with the main purpose to increase the speed performance, improve the tactics and get the best shape. I think that the boys have become stronger and more prepared functionally and in terms of speed as well. Everything goes as it has to. After training in the middle attitude, the result is usually more strength and better readiness functionally but less speed and slower reaction. During the last camp we equal all the aspects of the training. The schedule is different every day. In terms of wrestling training in the building, the athletes had this type of training on August 4 and August 8. We also train with the sportsmen from Kyrgyzstan.

- Can you name the main contenders for the medals in our national team?

- We will have 9 sportsmen representing our country in 7 weight categories. We have two athletes in 60 and 66 kg categories. Eldos Smetov is the number one in the 60 kg category, he is the Youth World Champion in this category, prize winner of the international tournaments and grand prix. Sergei Lim is the number one in the 66 kg category, he is the winner of the World Masters tournament in Tyumen in this category. And Maxim Rakov is a contender for a medal, who is the reigning champion of the world.

- The sportsmen from Kyrgyzstan also take part in the training camp of our team. What is the advantage of this kind of joint training?

- First of all, this is a big number of sparring partners. Formerly, during final camps we had only 15-16 people of all the invited sportsmen who arrived to the training. This time, the Confederation ordered that all sportsmen participated in the final camp. In case they skipped it they were not allowed to participate in other tournaments like the Grand Prix of Almaty. This was a good decision which gathered many sportsmen from the regions of Kazakhstan for the final camp. We can organize all types of training, like cycling and against different opponents every time. This really helps.

- Do you feel the support of the Confederation?

- The support is obvious. For example, it is the training ground. We have very good conditions here. The gym and the hotel are in the building. Moreover, we have a fitness room, judo room, cafeteria, swimming pool and sauna here. Everything is in one place.

- Didn’t sportsmen have the same conditions for training before?

- For example, before, in Karaganda, we lived in a hotel in one place and then had to go by bus to train to the gym which was far from the hotel. We lost time, had to sleep less. We are also glad that Borovoe was chosen as a training place, because it’s 40 degrees Celsius in Almaty now and here we have about 20 as the maximum. We would have not reached high results training in Almaty. The heat can impact the final results, because it can impact the sleep and rest which are a part of the training. Sportsmen get tired too fast and recover too late. Presently, they train to their full potential thanks to the optimal conditions. I believe we will have success at the World Championship. All the planned events and measures were help. The funds have been allocated. Everything depends on our athletes. It is now their turn.

-What results do you expect at the World Championship?

- We were set the highest task. We already have the reigning World Champion – Maxim Rakov. Therefore, we need to bring home at least two medals. I believe we will be able to achieve it.

- Who is the main opponent of our team at the World Championship?

- The main opponents are the founders of this sport – the Japanese as well as Korea, France and Mongolia. However, we have the World Champion, Champion of the World Masters and Champion of the Youth World Championship. We have some athletes we rely on. 70% of the roster is young boys. I worked as a head coach of the youth national team before and all that team is now what we have as the main team of the country. I believe it is the right move that the roster of the team is now so young.

- What prospects do young judokas, members of the national team, have?

- They are very promising sportsmen. We won the titles of the World Champion for the first time in 2010 in Morocco, we had 4 medals – 1 gold medal, 2 silver medals and a bronze medal and the second place in the overall standings. We won the Asian Championships twice. We have prepared 10 Asian Champions in four years, we won 9 medals of the Youth World Championship. I think these young boys have to show their full potential at the Olympic Games as well. Of course, it is difficult to have the best results right away, this is going to be their first time wrestling at the World Championship against the adult opponents. They need time to adjust. Now, at this stage, they need a lot of time to have a hold here compared to young tournaments. Nevertheless, they will definitely have success in the future.

-How popular is this sport in Kazakhstan?

- Judo is developing very fast. Compared to the sports, we are just beginning our development. This is a very interesting Olympic sport. We have more and more children going in for judo every day. Judo like other combat sports disciplines and teaches a special kind of philosophy. It is necessary that mass media was speaking more about our athletes. It is another opportunity for people to follow sports events and results of our sportsmen. It will help make judo even more popular.

- How injury-prone sport is judo?

- When I began doing judo I thought it was a really injury-prone sport. However, later I learnt that football was the most injury-prone sport. Boxing and wrestling were just fifth and sixth on this list. Actually, any professional sport is injury-prone, but it does not mean we have to shy away from this sport at any cost.

- We thank for the conversation and wish you and your team success at the upcoming World Championship!

- Thank you!


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