Khasan Khalmurzaev « Winning until Tokyo 2020 »
At 23, he is current Olympic Champion in 81kg and winner of the last Grand Slam in Ekaterinburg. Khasan Khalmurzaev comes to World Championships in Budapest (Hungary), with ambition and serenity, ready to defend its new leadership over the category, while he just opened its own judoschool in his homeland Ingushetia (a little Republic of Russian North Caucasus). The new power of the category tells us about his prospects on the competition and olympic cycle to come.
Outsider before the Games, you are now Olympic Champion. What does it change ?
It's really nice and pleasing to be a favorite, I feel more responsibility, but when I begin to feel stressed, I soothe myself tellling myself that everything is predestined. I have always tried to rely on God, I just have to do it and try very hard to win. He will give victory to anyone he wants.
You are now the "Marked Man". Have you felt more aggressiveness from your opponents this year ?
Well at competitions, when I'm set up and assembled, I feel like my rivals are quite worried and cautious ! Only during training camps, as you said all try to be more aggressive and more often come up to fight me.
During my last competition at Ekaterinburg, for Russian Grand Slam, I wasn't at my best and had difficult fights, especially the first one with the japanese, but things got better and better every match. But I'm preparing firstly for World Championships and will try to surprise my opponents.
Ingushetia, your homeland, is well represented in the russian team for 2017 World Championships with 4 judokas (Musa Mogushkov 73kg, Khasan Kalmurzaev 81kg, Khusen Khalmurzaev 90kg and Zelimkhan Ozdoev 73kg for Mixed Team Competition). What is the secret of Ingush judo ?
This is for us, for our republic and for our school, a great event, we have to come forward, and win as many medals as possible .. And the secret ?! Well our judo school is getting stronger and stronger, our head of Ingushetia Unusbek Bamatgireievich is also trying to support our sportsmen .. And this is the most important wish and an aspiration for our guys to do well.
As for me, my goal is to become three times World Champion and twice Olympic Champion, god willing.
I'm just disappointed that team competition changed and that my weight category is removed, so that I can't compete except if I fight in 90kg. We'll see what happens.
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