Tofig Heydarov: “Absence of weightlifting in European Games will bu injustice”
New era started in Azerbaijan weightlifting. Notwithstanding Tofiq Heydarov the fact that after victories Nizami Pashayev during independence period we have been waiting for major victories for a while, we began to live those pleasant moments again with a Valentine Christov won a bronze medal at the London Olympiad. The gratifying thing is that now mainly young athletes are a core of the national team and victories keeps coming in a row. “Zirve” Sports Club also contributes to the Training of reserve force for the national select team. We have recently contacted the head of the organization Tofig Heydarov, and asked him about the upcoming plans. In addition, an expert who was a vice-president of the Azerbaijan Weightlifting Federation in an interview assessed the performance of our weight-lifter during the current season, stated the targets of “Zirve”.
– How do you assess the current season?
– The 2013 can be assesses as the most successful year for our club. For the first time alumnus of our newly established club managed to win medals at the European and world competitions in all age groups. Our sportsmen won 32 medals – 13 gold, 7 silver and 12 bronze in international competitions, and besides they succeeded in updating European and world records by achieving high results. Alumni of «Zirve» Sports Club have won more than half of all medals at all weight- lifting competitions held at national level. In addition, this year our club’s centralized training base have been made available to our athletes. Our National team has performed very well in the current year. Our weight- lifters achieved great victories at European and world championships, Universiade, and 2 -nd Baku Cup .
– Do you believe in a chance for weigh lifting being one of the leading type of sport in the program of Olympic Games to be included in first European games?
– I should say that inclusion of weightlifting sport into the European Games is one of the most important issues for the Organizing Committee. Since the weightlifting is one of the most popular sports included into the program of the Summer Olympic Games. Considering the fact that four of four weightlifters – Triple Olympic champions are from Europe, absence of this sport in European games, I think, can be regarded as unfair. Weightlifting is included into all World Games held worldwide from the first competitions (veterans, juniors, Paralympic etc. ) . Ins’h’allah, this type of sport will be also included into games program at the first European games.
– In case of inclusion of weight-lifting into European games, and how it will benefit to the country weight-lifting?
– As a specialist, I can note, if weight-lifting is a part of the European Games , our country will get have a chance to win a most of medals exactly in this type of sport. Only Russian national team has a chance to get over our National team at the weightlifting competitions. If we get prepared more seriously, I believe that we will be able to be the first in terms of number of medals .
– Tofig muallim, when «Zirve» as one of the country’s leading clubs in weight-lifting is expected to become main base for training of junior athletes?
– A main goal of our club is to create conditions for junior athletes to be involved to this sport on a mass basis , and train strongest juniors among them for competitions on a professional-level in a boarding school lyceum . Today a mass scale is almost nearing the level we want. About 400 athletes are fighting for the victory at our regular competitions. Olympic lyceum to be named after Heydar Aliyev is almost ready. Since 2014, about 100 junior athletes will be able to train there for the international competitions on the big scale.
– Can the upcoming «Zirve» cup be held open in the near future?
– Results of the the «Zirve» Sports Club’s alumni causes us to held international – scale competitions. The Club Management aims to set up club divisions in a number of states to further improve our athletes. Ins’h’allah, we will be happy to see transformation of “Zirva” Cup competitions to an international competition in the near future and other states will be able to make use of the care our state demonstrate to sport.