I watched a long, 1 hour + long video from 2 weeks ago with some of Russia's world champs and medalists and coaches: Sadulaev, Gadisov, Sajidov and Gadhzimagomedov.
The interview is in Russian, but I translated much of it for the forum here and also summarized the interesting bits below. A lot of interesting nuggets on retirement, who wins between Sadulaev and Gadisov, etc. This is the original video link: https://www.youtube....h?v=heea3x3Huqo
Of course, its hard to capture the exact nuances sometimes exactly, but I think what I translated is pretty accurate. In general, these guys seems very modest and friendly and are really a great team.
Gadisov is quite articulate, he will definitely have a good career outside of wrestling.
Our first objective at the worlds was to get the Olympic spots, but of course we can't just aim for the olympic spots, we are the best wrestling school in the world, so our goal was to win as many gold medals as possible and to be no.1 in the team rankings. Could have been better of course, but we have stuff to work on now.
Our main objective in the republic of Dagestan is not just to push kids into wrestling, we are most happy if they train any sport that fits them. But yes, wrestling is a main sport in the republic of Dagestan. The training halls are full of kids.
The flight to the worlds was long, first 12 hours to LA, then 1.5 hours to Las Vegas. The long travel really tired out the athletes. But we prepared for that and knew about it. Americans love creating a show and they did a great job organizing and the venue was full. Everything was wonderful. There were many Russian fans too, Dagestani, etc. It was pleasant and helped our wrestlers. We felt the support of the fans.
Gadisov (answering why he lost in the final):
The fans I think helped Snyder, but they did not affect me. I haven't watched the match yet. I think perhaps the long flight and adaptation period affected me a bit, but these are all excuses. If I lost, I need to seek the reason inside me: I lost, so I made mistakes. I think tactically I was a little bit off, he is a young guy and was very excited, going forward, and I felt a bit tired, and made defensive mistakes. We will work on functional training, its good to see your mistakes and have a chance to fix them, so we will work hard so that such cases don't repeat again at the Olympics.
(they ask him: didn't you know about Snyder, he is a young popular wresler?)
Well, in my brackets, the main opponent was Gazumov, also an Ossetian wrestler whom I lost to at the European games. So, I was entirely preparing for him (Sajidov also intervenes, says the same thing), so when I beat him, I thought thats it, we are done. But after that I watched some of Snyder's matches (before the final), and I saw that the final will not be easy.
(they ask again: "So you did not know him before?")
No, he also lost at the Junior worlds (Snyder), so did not pay attention to him...lets say, he was more like a dark horse.
Trainers also are responsible, we prepared for the Azerbaijani, the Gerogian and the Ukranian, that was our main focus. Our side of the bracket was stronger, so from the weaker's side (Snyder), we expected the Iranian to go through, so Snyder was unexpected. We made tactical errors in the final.
Gadisov (after journalist says it was 5:5 and noone won):
Lets not seek excuses , we both wrestle under the same rules. We will keep working so the score is not 5:5, but 5:0, like our Sadulaev (they laugh), who with his wrestling, shows how to win. Many guys should take an example from him, so I want to congratulate him now !
Everyone thinks its easy from the outside, but they don't see how much I train. On the mat, its never easy. I don't aim to win with tech superiority. I just go out and wrestle and rely on God.
Gadisov (why did he beat Gazumov this time?)
well, again, it all depends on what tactics you chose, because the opponents are strong and prepare for you. So tactics are very important for the result. At the European games, I chose the wrong tactic, I attacked too much, and I allowed him leg attacks and lost 4:2. Here, I did more counter-attacking, so I prepared only for him, but again it was a tense match.
Gazumov is very strong, at 97kg, so when they meet, every second is crucial. Of course, by focusing on Gazumov, we should not forget the Georgian, also very strong, a European games finalist. So I would say, Gadisov left all his physical and mental energy against these 2, before the final.
sometimes its like that, you do what you can and still lose, fans are not happy, but it is God's will, so we need to accept it. We can just say thank God and work harder. So I want to tell the fans: thanks for the support, and follow God's will.
Sadulaev (about a match vs. Synder): yes, they offered me to wrestle Snyder, but there was no official offer. I told them if they want to make the show, I agree to it.
Olympic preparation is key, but yes, Americans like show, they even make it in the center of New York, its great, its pleasant, so if there is a free time in Olympic preparation, we can do the match with Snyder. We are always ready to wrestle, anyone, anywhere, they should know that (Americans). (Laughs).
Sajidov (on if there are keys to beating Burroughs):
Yes, there are always keys, especially with our coaches, we can find keys for anyone. As we already saw, Tsargush won once. In fact, Geduev's bracket was very difficult at the Worlds, so each match was hard, and Geduev cuts a lot of weight. I think if this match was in the finals, where Geduev had a couple of hours to rest (or earlier when he was fresher), it would be a different match. Its hard to say who would win. But generally, our wrestlers have the mastery, so we will prepare them to beat Burroughs or Snyder or whoever else is there, at the Olympics.
Gadisov (on retiring after 2016 if he wins Gold):
First, yes, after the 2016 Games, I think I will retire from wrestling. Because one has to wrestle when they want, when they are burning with desire, etc. But I feel for me, this is the last year, and next year, I will not have the fire in my eyes. And in this case, I will retire. Either you need to be no.1 and winning or just don't bother.
If you win the Olympic games, we will talk again about delaying retirement (laughs). Many said they will retire but don't. Main thing is to have health (its clear Sajidov is not pleased with the retirement talk).
Sadulaev (on going to 97kg): I am still growing, so I feel yes, I will go to 97kg.
We like strong internal competition in the weight class. If there was no Shamil or Ahmed, there would be no Sadulaev. It is needed and required for us, if we want to be no.1
So now I control their food intake (Sadulaev's and Kudiamagomedov) , so they stay at 86kg :).
Gadisov (on do how would they do at 97kg)
In 1 interview, Sadulaev said that I win most of the time against him, but this is the opposite, its hard to beat him. He is very strong physically and also a very modest person.
These 2 wrestle all the time, but we don't care for the score, many fans watch them wrestle and count the score in practice.
Tthis is sport, our matches are very tense, but in general, Sadulaev wins most of our matches, just to tell the fans (laughs).
Gadisov helps me all the time, supports me. They are helping me, Gadisov, and Sajidov. They are helping me with their experience. God's will, all will go well at the Olympics.
Sajidov (about Makhov's performance)
We decided to risk and go with 2 styles. He justified our trust. We know his character and his abilities. He had a bad draw at the Greco worlds. At the Greco tournament he weighed 124kg, but at the freestyle few days later, he only weighed 116kg, he lost a lot of weight, and this affected his result at the freestyle Worlds. But the main objective, getting the Olympic quota, was accomplished. We all saw he had no strength left after each match at the freestyle worlds. He would lay down and hardly be able to stand. The other wrestlers were all motivating him, etc. They almost had to lift him to his legs so he can make the walk. I even asked Mahov today, do you have a place in your body without an injury? He started counting: 4 surgeries on 1 knee, 2 on the other, both shoulders, elbows, etc...This guy guy has incredible spirit...he shows one can do anything.
Sajidov (about Mahov's MMA)
I was not a big fan, you need to chose 1 thing. But he managed to convince me and the other coaches about both styles. But the Olympic games are no place for such experiments. So he needs to chose one style. We want him to win a gold medal, freestyle or greco, we don't really care.
He deserves it...of course, we prefer he comes to freestyle (laughs).
Sajidov (on Greco vs. Freestyle for Mahov)
Before the Turk, Mahov had the hardest match, with the Iranian, very important match he had to win to get the Olympic spot.
Olympics are a totally different thing, so need prepare mentally. Turk may be champion now, congratulations to him, but Olympics is a different thing. Until they lift your hand, you have not won.
Sajidov (on Vlasov's national anthem mixup):
I don't know if there was a mistake, but Vlasov did great, congratulations to him. But due to the anthem mix up he actually got more time on the podium (laughs).
Sadulaev (on did you feel pressure by Americans, etc):
Nno, I did not feel such a thing (perhaps for Gadisov cause he wrestled an American). But with me, I did not wrestle an American in the final. I felt that the fans suppported me. I don't know what good I did for them, but they supported me.
Sadulaev (on youth):
I wish all kids/teenagers to not spend time doing bad things and to have a health way of life. And to most importantly, make their parents happy. To create goals and to try and reach them.
Youth should chose what they want to do. Some want to work in medicine, some sports, some science, etc. Some kids cannot be professional sportsman as they do not have the physical qualities. They should make their parent happy, should not make them ashamed. When the kids do bad things, this is the biggest shame for the parents in front of others. And the biggest joy is when the parents are happy, so I wish them to make the parents happy. This is the greatest
happiness, when they are happy for you and are proud of you, in whatever it is that you manage to succeed.