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Getting to Olympics was harder than winning gold - freestyle wrestler Otarsultanov

August 11, 2012, 2:17 UTC+3
In the final Dzhamal Otarsultanov outperformed Georgia’s Vladimir Khinchegashvili by three points to one
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LONDON, August 11 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia’s freestyle wrestler Dzhamal Otarsultanov on Friday won the Olympic title in the under 55 kilograms weight category. In the final he outperformed Georgia’s Vladimir Khinchegashvili by three points to one. At a certain moment the outcome of the fight was in question. The rival’s side argued that the referees had wrongly refused to award points for the Georgian wrestler's last move.

However, the video footage left no doubts that the Russian’s victory was well-deserved.

“At the very last moment, when the bout was to end in ten seconds, I thought I would be able to hold the Georgian,” Dzhamal said after the medal ceremony. “Yet, he managed to escape and to attack. True, I got a little bit nervous after bout. The referee alone sees what is happening on the mat. I had the impression that the victory was mine. Now I am exhausted. Yet, I would like to see the video from beginning to end.”

Dzhamal Otarsultanov was born on April 14, 1987. He joined a wrestling club at the age of nine in 1996, and his debut for Russia’s national team was at the 2006 European championships. He won the European golds in 2008 and 2012.

“In my village we had only two sports – boxing and wrestling. I was more wrestling-minded, and now I can say with certainty that this is my cup of tea,” the athlete said.

“Am I aware I am an Olympic champion?” Dzhamal paused for a while. “On the one hand, I do understand what has happened to me. But it is hard for me to imagine the tide of emotion and joy I shall see at home. Still, I am prepared for this,” he added with a smile.

He confessed that staying psychologically firm was the most difficult task.

“I did my best to forget about the responsibility I was bearing just to keep the drive. I tried not to think about it, but still I remained aware of it deep down in my heart. After all, I was fighting for the highest award that an athlete can win in one’s lifetime.”

Getting to the Olympic Games was not easy.

“At Russia’s national championships I confronted Viktor Lebedev. He had won the previous two world championships. I managed to win, but still it was very hard. And not only when I was on the mat. I had suffered an injury and for that reason I was denied permission to go for some time. But we managed to get through. Everything should be fair.”

Here, in London, Otarsultanov felt no problems because of his injuries.

“I had no pain. Only in the final, just a little bit. But I did not care. My thoughts were elsewhere,” he said.

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