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Sadulaev's coach interview

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Here is an interview I translated for the forum from Sadulaev's coach after the Worlds:

 

[source: http://wrestdag.ru/news/ru/news/shamil_omarov_abdulrashid_pozdno_vernulsja/]

 

— On the way to the final, Sadulaev won 2 matches before the time expired, but in the matches with the Cuban and the Ossetian from Armenia's team (Ketoev) he won fairly modestly: 3:0 and 2:0. Did this create some worry?

— Yes, we were worried after these results. The opponents and results basically told us that: Sadulaev does not feel in shape, and he himself feels not quite in shape,

—So, before the final, there was worry about the result?

— Yes, of course there is worry when you go up against a world and Olympic champion, especially a massive wrestler like Snyder. Just in the way Sadulaev wrestled up to the final, I felt the final will be difficult.

Sadulaev started training late. If you want to beat wrestlers like Snyder, you have to go through a long training period. The conditioning has to be at a high level. However, after the Olympics, the preparation was short. Our guys, as usual, its hard to 'return' them to the mat after the games. One has to return faster, and keep in shape.

- So you are saying he shouldn't take breaks? You think Sadulaev allowed himself to relax a bit?

— Well, after the Olympics they pulled him around to this side, to that side...His body felt this and returning from these constant distractions from all directions is hard. After the Olympics, all our guys have this fault. Some rest for a year, some for 2 years. Sadulaev, thank God, we returned him to the mat a bit earlier -- we asked him to wrestle at the Russian nationals. But regardless of that, the time was just not enough for him to prepare for the worlds. One has to keep in shape for years. No conditioning means that there is no sense in going to tournaments.

— Well, despite this, Sadulaev had a chance to win in the final.

— Yes, there was a chance, but his conditioning was not there. I was hoping that he will win based on character. But look, even his draw was hard. Okidadze, Peres and Ketoev. Sadulaev had to wrestle them all. We were hoping he can recover during the tournament, but there was no chance for this. All of these guys were hard matches for him. While Snyder had 1 less match than Sadulaev, and the opponents were easier too, only 1 match was harder for him.

Sadulaev, after the first 3 minutes with Snyder, came to the break already tired. I understood that it will be hard in the 2nd period. Because of that I tried to excite the fans, so they could support him. But this didn't help him. Once Sadulaev returns from the trip to Mecca, we will address the problem with conditioning.

— So he was planning to go to Mecca after the worlds?

— Yes, he even bought a ticket earlier. But because they stole his passport and money, everything got messed up. He found another flight the day after.

— The match with Snyder, was the last one in the worlds. Before the match,  weren't there thoughts that this is the last chance for Gold for Russia? That all comes down to him?

— People came by, and reminded us of this. This added more stress. Of course, Sadulaev thought about this which led to more energy spent. But as a captain he couldn't do anything else.

— Sadulaev last lost in 2013. It was obvious that he was having a difficult time with this loss. Was he so upset earlier?

— I've never seen him that way. Earlier he used react normally. It is hard for him now. Its OK though, he will think about it and about the things he did not do properly during the period since Olympics.

— Tedeev said that Sadulaev will wrestle 1 more year at 97kg and then return to 86kg. What do you think?

— We are not thinking to return to 86kg, or other weight classes. On the opposite, we are required to win the next match with Snyder. We don't want to leave this negative mark in Sadulaev's career. We will stay at 97kg and will try to win at the next worlds.

— What happened to Uguev at 57kg? He lost in the 1st round? He didn't have experience?

— This weight class is I think without much hope for Russia. Its a hard weight for us, there are not many great future prospects here. Uguev and the 27 year old Gerbekov. And that is it. Uguev doesn't have the weight for this class. So this didn't help him. So no its not the experience. Next year when they have the 2 weight cuts per day, his will be Uguev's class. I am sure he will be a leader here. 

— Tedeev thinks that Rashidov, who won silver at 61kg, burned out in the final. However, he did win against strong opponents. Did he break under pressure?

— He was fine. But during the training camp and at the worlds. But in the final he wrestled a 2x world champ., Aliev. who has a lot of experience. He did win against many strong top wrestlers, but in the final didn't go well.

— Back to Sadulaev -- he had a full plate this year, not just on the mat. He got married, did  Hadj (mecca) with his wife, etc.

— yes..also had nose surgery. He used to have problems breathing but now is fine. We will work hard. What can you say now, after the loss? This was our mistake -- that we couldn't get him back on the mat on time after the Olympics.

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I thought it was a great interview.  Coach has been around the block a time or two.  He knew how to answer all questions and promote it for the future.  The Russians are men.  There was never any doubt in my mind that this great champion would want to try this again.  Two bulls, neither one backing off.  This is the stuff of movies.

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LOVE that he's not backing down from Snyder and will take another crack at him next year. I've never anticipated a wrestling math more than Snyder vs Sadualev 2. A year is so long to wait....

Why not at Yarigan? But I would guess Kyle may wrestle more folk his last year.

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Sadulaev recently got married. This has different connotations in a devout Muslim society than it does in the US. In the US the stereotype is when you get married you become more responsible and tame and have a more stable home life and no longer go out partying etc. In the North Caucasus the stereotype is totally different. When you get married you get soft and have access to sex/women for the first time and are no longer just a warrior.

 

I saw several comments about Sadulaev's weight gain and lack of training post-marriage.

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His last year he may want to win the Hodge?

Even if he were to wrestle a full season, he'd probably lose to Retherford based on the criteria.  I also think the Yarygin title means more to Snyder at this point than the Hodge trophy.  And if you think about it, Yarygin is much more prestigious than the Hodge. He probably only still wrestles folkstyle because of his appreciation for Tom Ryan/tOSU/His teammates/His fans at tOSU.

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a 3 time WORLD and OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALIST caring about the hodge?

 

post of the year...

 

He's competitive. There's no way he cares enough to do the folkstyle season and doesn't think about the Hodge. I get your point. It's less meaningful than winning the Yarygin and certainly means way less to us the international fans--but there's no way he doesn't think about it or it doesn't bother him that such an "unaccomplished" guy like Retherford from a rival school gets it instead of him.

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