Several days before the New Year Moscow Exhibition Center "Crocus City" hosted the competition between the top-rank sportsmen of the Old World. It was the student championship that gathered together 75 sportsmen from 16 countries. The final fight between the boxers from Russia and Ukraine was one of the brightest events. The host of the ring won 4 – 1.
It is an interesting and symbolic coincidence that the main site of the competitions was situated near the Metro station “Myakinino”, located on the same blue branch as the station “Studencheskaya”. The high status of the tournament provided the presence of famous sports figures. The chair of the Federation of Professional Boxing of Russia Viktor Ageyev, the Honorary President of Boxing Federation, the deputy of the Legislative Assembly of Krasnoyarsk region Anatoly Bykov, Olympic champion Alexander Lebzyak, European champions Peter Galkin and Andrey Mishin, world champions Alexander Koshkin and Raimkulov Malahbekov attended the event.
Moscow Olympic champion and the director of the Youth Sports School of Boxing and Kickboxing Shamil Sabirov was the main celebrity among them, as he was supporting his fellow townsman Alexander Karakazyan. The handsome heavyweight was worth admiration, he won the competition, though skipping the final fight because his rival from Ukraine Lavrent Grigoryan was injured and refused the fight. Sabirov told that the second-year student of Krasnodar Institute of Sports Alexander Karakazyan became the world champion among students in 2010. To complete his success he is planning to win at the Universiade in Kazan in 2013, and his example may inspire almost 500 teenagers who attend sports school in Krasnodar.
Boxing at half-strength was impossible in the presence of such people, so the sportsmen did their best, especially in the final fight. There was a joke on the sidelines of the tournament: Russian and Ukrainian teams exchanged their places after the main event of the year – the World Championship in Baku. Our closest European neighbors had four gold medals there.
In general, the harvest of awards for the Russian team with its coach Roman Podoprigora, contained nine medals: seven gold ones, one silver and one bronze. Ukraine had the second position (7 medals: 1 gold, 4 silver, 2 bronze). Poland and Belarus had one award each.
The success of our student is not surprising, because we know their leaders – the winners of national junior championship in Galitsino (held in November) Grigory Nickolaychuk, Dmitry Sotnikov, Victor Batalov and Tahir Pirdamov. Of all the four, Grigory Nickolaychuk met the strongest rival – Ukrainian boxer Dmitry Rudenko. They were equal during three rounds, but finally the judges’ decision was to give victory to Grigory – the difference was one point.
It was Nickolaychuk’s second great success within a short period of time. A month ago he was announced the best boxer of the junior championship of Russia, and he had a brilliant debut in Moscow at the European Student Championship. We congratulated this Tyumen guy on his new victory and asked him about his impressions of the final fight and his rival: “We were ready for the hard fight, because we knew that Dmitry Rudenko had been the last year’s champion of Ukraine, and he participated in the World Championship,” Grigory said. “I hadn’t met him before, but now I may say that he is not an easy rival: he wasn’t hard, sometimes avoided blowing himself, but was able to escape my blows. He was running a lot. I had two fights here, and in the first one I beat the French boxer, who was actually very strong physically. I should also say, that the organization of the event and the level of the participants were excellent. As for my plans, I’m going to have a little rest on my coming home, and in January I will go to the junior team training session to Kislovodsk”.
In the other fight success came to Grigory’s fellow townsman Victor Batalov. The sportsmen received the first congratulations from the President of Student Boxing Federation of Russia and Tyumen Region Nurulla Sattarov. We asked him several questions.
- Isn’t it hard to sit on the fence?
- Now I may say I sit on two fences. I have recently become the chairman of the newly organized European Student Boxing Association. It was founded during this championship with the support of the International University Sports Federation (FISU) and the European Boxing Confederation (EBC). The vice-president of the Russian Boxing Federation Sumaid Khalidov was elected the member of the executive committee of the Association, and the FISU technical delegate Eduard Abdulmanov became its executive director. We decided to make European Student Championship every year, and the World Championship will be biennial, as it always was.
- Congratulations! And what about your own boxing career? What was your job before?
- I am a master of sports. I was born and raised in Tyumen, and worked in the military sport club of the Turkestan Military District, in the Pamirs. After the graduation from Sverdlovsk Law Institute, I worked in the prosecutor’s office; I started as a simple investigator and gradually became the head of the department. I switched over to boxing when my coach asked me to do it, when almost all the sport facilities in Tyumen were closed.
- You worked with the first President of the Russian Student Sport Union Alexey Ivanovich Kiselev, and certainly learned a lot from him.
- Of course. We consider him to be our teacher, because this great boxer and coach made a huge contribution to the development of university sports, not only in Russia but all over the world. We make annual international competitions in his memory. In this championship we awarded a special prized to the winners in the categories 75 and 81 kg – Alexey Ivanovich starred in them. During the last competitions in his memory in Elista we asked the President of the European Boxing Confederation Umberto Furgoni to include the Student Championship into European calendar, and he agreed.
- As we know the Soviet attitude towards the student sports was not quite serious. New Russia inherited this attitude, but recently the situation has changed completely. The new level of the student sports should be provided by the law, signed by President Dmitry Medvedev. It officially introduces such terms as ‘student sport’ and ‘student league’.
- This law is very up-to-date; it means that now student competitions will be better funded. At the same time our every day work on improving the results will remain very important. It is like pension – one has it from the state, but only if he worked for it.
- How many European Student Champions have already been held?
- This is the third one. There were also two World Championships, and the next one will take place in 2012 in Colorado Springs, in the US.
-Which Russian universities can be called the best ones in preparation the candidates for the student team?
- This kind of sport is very well developed in Siberian Federal University, in the universities of Moscow, Chelyabinsk and Voronezh regions as well as in Dagestan, Altay and Krasnoyarsk regions.
“Pervy Round” №4, 2012
Magazine about the famous sportsmen and the beginners