I translated this for the forum. It is from 3 weeks ago. Margiev has coached a number of world and olympic champions (4) such as: Vadim Bogiev, Khadzimurat Gatsalov, Otarsultanov, Irbek Farniev, Dennis Tsargush, Khadzimurat Magomedev, Dzambolat Tedeev, Manurova, Soslan Ramonov, Georgi Goghelidze, and others. He is the head of the famous CSKA sports club.
Anatoli, what is special about Karelin, who had his 50'th birthday today?
I remember the Russian championships 1999, which took place at CSKA, and they were right before Karelin's last Olympic games, when he was already 3x Olympic champion. Karelin went up to the coach, in order to ask what he should do after warming up. I was amazed: already 3x olympic champ and he is still asking the coach. Indeed, this is why he is so unique. Many wrestlers forget about their first coach after winning. But not Karelin. He makes the coach learn as well. Karelin is a hero of Russia. He is an example to young wrestlers and a very educated and knowledgeable person. He helps sports schools, does seminars. People like Karelin are very few and he is one of the most special people in Russia. I wish him health and success in his work. He will always be an example for young wrestlers.
Karelin said that today's wrestlers do not participate in enough tournaments. And because of that the performance at the words in Paris was not impressive. What is your explanation?
Well, the team in Paris was practically entirely a new one. From the olympic team, only Sadulaev participated but in a new weight class. And also right now we do not have enough strong wrestlers in the heavyweight and lightweight weight classes, they are not very competitive classes. Because of that Makhov lost early.
Head coach Tedeev was saying that we expect 3 golds at the worlds. Did you really?
We were sure in Sadulaev. Good chances for gold had Tsabolov and Gogaev.
Is the result a tragedy?
No, this is just the start of the new olympic cycle and the head coach is trying new wrestlers at different competitions so this year was more experimental. It will be the same next year and only after that we will determine the core of the Olympic team in 2020. Of course, the fans are used to us always winning so until we lose nobody pays attention to us.
After the 74kg final, you said that Tsabolov did not follow the game plan. Why?
I should say that this year Tsabolov went up in a weight category, from 70kg to 74kg. So the worlds were his first start in this new weight class. And during the tournament he did well against strong opponents: current European champion, 2 Olympic medalists, etc. Unfortunately, he lost in the final to Burroughs. The american Burroughs wrestles very dirty: puts his fingers in opponent's eyes, grabs fingers in par-terre, etc. But the referee does not pay attention to this. I told Tsabolov: he will be doing such stuff but you should not react. Yet Tsabolov was waving the finger at him to tell him to not do that. And I told him: what are you doing? ...One has to be an artist a little bit. Like soccer players: they hit them a bit and they immediately start rolling around on the ground. But Tsabolov told me: I can't do that. Yet Americans, Iranians and Turks, they are all doing it.
So our wrestlers are not doing that because of pride?
We don't teach them such stuff. We need to be able to win comfortably. It has always been that way. But now the level of wrestling in the world has evened up a bit. Many of our coaches are working abroad. Further, many of our wrestlers are leaving. For instance, Makoev who got silver in Paris. He used to live in our CSKA sports school, but he could not get to the national team and decided to leave for Slovakia -- and reached the finals of the worlds.
Your wrestler, Valiev at 86kg, it was his first worlds, and he won bronze.
Valiev, like Tsabolov, did not follow the game plan, yet he could beat Yazdani, who also beat Geduev in Rio. At least physically he is not weaker than Yazdani. The iranian has a good leg attack. But instead of keeping distance, Valiev started wrestling close. He created such a pace that Valiev did not know where he was. If Valiev had managed to successfully overcome the Iranian's defense when Valiev was fresh, the Iranian would have lost control.
Sadulaev, after the worlds, apologized to the fans. Was this correct?
Of course, Sadulaev is a responsible guy. In Paris, he apologized to the coaching staff for the mistakes that he made. There were many Russian fans in Paris. When Tsabolov beat the Turk 10:0, they were screaming: thanks for the wrestling.
As far as Sadulaev's silver, before the worlds, he did not have a single start -- only the Russian nationals. And this is too little for an Olympic champion. Also, the Rio games were very complicated, especially psychologically due to the created external pressure. Even for myself, it took me a while to recover after the games. When my wrestler Ramonov won Gold, I was thinking right away: thank God he won for Russia.
There were not steroid accusations at the worlds in 2017?
There is nothing to catch us with, it is the foreigners who are taking stuff that is hard to detect or its not even tested for. Many of them are breathing very well towards the end of matches and have even more oxygen towards the end.
You said that Olympic champion Ramonov was saving his strength yet he won 11:0. So wasn't he also having more oxygen towards the end?
First, Ramonov followed the game plan well. Second, he had a great diet for the games. In his room, he had all necessary food products, even black and red chavier. Further, our last training camp was in Brazil where there is good meat products and lots of fruit. Otarsultanov in 2012 Olympics, I told him that he should not take any pills from the doctor before asking me even for a headache. Both became Olympic champions.
In what condition are now Ramonov and Otarsultanov?
They are both recovering from injuries. Otarsultanov should not have participated in Russian nationals. He was wrestling in another weight class and that made his injury even worse. I hope he can return for the club world cup in Iran in Dec 2/3. Ramonov had a meniscus operation, but he has recovered. Now he will participate in the military worlds in Lithuania.
How did Ramonov get the injury?
Well, beginning of April he participated in a tournament in Bulgaria. When he tried to cross the Russian border, he had problems. Our border control people did not want to let him out as his passport expiration date was ending. They said: the Bulgarians will not let you in. Yet, the Bulgarian consulate gave him visa no problem as he was an Olympic champ. Ramonov told the border control people: Let me in -- the Bulgarians let me in and I will return! Why create a scandal? He is only going for 4 days. After this when Ramnov returned to Rusisa, he was very upset and at the very first training tore his meniscus. If it wasn't for this incident I believe he would have made fans happy in Paris.
You said that the level of wrestling the world in evening up. Earlier it was considered that winning Russian nationals is much harder than winning Worlds. Has this changed?
No, its the same..it is just that basically none of the leaders on the national team wrestled in Russian nationals. There is a big problem now -- the salaries of the coaches are miserable. If we want to win at the worlds we need to change that. For instance, in the USA, wrestling is part of high school programs like athletics. In Iran its a national sport. They are crazy about wrestling. In such conditions grow up the future Olympic champs.
And what are the conditions in CSKA for young wrestlers?
The new head of CSKA solved the problem of having out of town wrestlers live here. An year earlier the CSKA weightlifting team forbid wrestlers to be there, only the juniors. Further, the canteen which has been working at CSKA since 1992 is now closed...and there we always had natural food products. Today there is a big question about doping. Its unclear what supplements can one even take. I am convinced that one should take natural vitamins from food, rather than buying them in pharmacies and destroying their liver. At any rate, the head of CSKA is promising us that he will restore the canteen.