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- Well, they are not 100% ready, because their primary goal is the Olympics.


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31/01/2012 - 19:06

Mansur Isaev: I have to be a wolf on the tatami

Mansur Isaev: I have to be a wolf on the tatami

Mansur Isaev was born on September 23, 1986 in Kizilyurt, the Dagestan Republic. He is the Russian master of sports of international class in judo. Since 2005 he has been training in Chelyabinsk under the guidance of honored coach Alexander Miller. Mansur Isaev is a bronze medalist of World Championship (2009, Rotterdam, The Netherlands). European Youth Champion (2008, Zagreb, Croatia). Bronze medalist of European team Championship (2010, Vienna, Austria). Mansur is the winner of the European club championship in team «Yavara-Neva» (2007, 2009, 2010). Mansur Isaev  is a  multiple winner and medalist of World Cups, tournaments «Big Slam», «Grand Prix» and «Masters». He is the champion of Russia among young people (2006, 2008). Bronze medalist of Russian U23 Championship (2005).

- Mansur, what is the reason for your recent successes?

- Russian national team head coach Ezio Gamba did a good job.  He holds good functional trainings for us. It brings the results.

- Did the injury make an impact on your physical condition?

- On the contrary it gave me a little rest. The experience that I got in the team has not disappeared. I think I'm still not at the top of the shape, but close to it. And it's great to have time to improve the condition and to be fully prepared for the European Championships and Olympic Games.

- By the way about the European Championship... Would you like to perform there?

- Of course! But my desire is not enough for it, the head coach of Russia will decide everything.

- But if you are given this chance, how will you use it?

- You know the answer to this question (smiles). Of course, I'll give only one task to myself - to win! I'd like to make a gift to Chelyabinsk. This city gave me a lot.

- Will you be in Chelyabinsk during the European Championship?

- Fll the guys from the Russian team will be here. We must overwatch our rivals, notice their mistakes, and make conclusions. And of course we will support our athletes.

- The tournament «Masters» took place in Astana. Was it difficult to realize yourself in such stellar company?

- Yes, indeed the tournament is very serious. It is a rare chance to fight with the strongest world judokas. At the top-16 opponents are equal, everyone can act unexpectedly. Therefore, from the first match you have to get into fight completely and be ready for the last battle. Medal from such tournament is really valuable.

- It’s pleasant to know that you are among the 16 strongest judokas, isn’t it?

- Yeah, nice to be among the best from the strongest (laughs).

- European Championships and Olympic Games are on the way. The athletes are expected with medals. Do you feel the pressure of responsibility?

- No, we do not feel any pressure. All leaders want result, but we want it too. Do not worry, I think everything will be fine. Our team is very strong, guys can win medals at the European Championships in Chelyabinsk, and at the Olympic Games in London as well. There is no doubt in it.

- At the Olympics you will be debutant. This is a special event where athletes win when they are able to control themselves…

- Yes, I have no experience in it, the atmosphere of the Olympics is not familiar to me. Of course, I do not know how I will feel myself psychologically in London. But I have a confidence that I will not «burn out». I say to myself that the Olympics is just a usual competition. Although, of course, I’m excited. I’m looking forward to the Olympic tournament. I'd like to show all I can.

- Do you look after any rivals with a particular interest?

- I try to keep a track of all, especially I look after the rivals who uncomfortable for me. Among them are Korean Ki-Chu Wang, Japanese Akimoto and Dutch Dex Elmont. These guys are very strong, they are real masters.

- What are your plans now?

- I will work on the «physics», study opponents. Apparently, before the championship of Europe we will be given the possibility to restore, we will not take part in large competitions. But I'll be working on myself hard.

My coach Alexander Miller says, that I have to feel myself like a wolf on the mat, to be confident. And let the opponents feel themselves as a sheeps (laughs).

Interviewed by Vitaly Vizaulin