Alexey IVANOV:

"I'm used to controlling my emotions"

World champion 2015 in weight category under 82 kg among men
1. Please recall and describe the emotions you felt when you became a world SAMBO champion in 2015.

– I'm used to controlling my emotions and not showing them in public. I was happy to win at the 2015 World Championships, because I'd worked hard to get there. My first coach was at the championships, and I was glad to give him satisfaction to see the success I'd achieved.

2. How did they congratulate you? What do you remember most?

– My first coach and my current trainer were really happy about my win. My friends and teammates also congratulated me.

3. How has your life changed in the year since the last world championships? Does the status of the world SAMBO champion help you in sports and in everyday life?

– No major changes. I'm still training in my usual gym. Children working out nearby sometimes look at me with admiration. They've probably just read the plaque saying 'The world champion'. The rest of my life is going as usual. I think it's mainly you and your family who need the title of a world champion.
Champions are often very modest people and they'll be incredibly happy if you admire them
4. Where do you keep your gold medal? How important is it for you?

I keep the medal in the most visible place – in my collection of gold medals. It's precious to me in its own way, although it's actually just a piece of metal.

5. Will you participate in the 2016 World SAMBO Championships in Bulgaria? If yes, how is your training going?

– To my great regret, I won't be taking part in the world championships in Sofia.

6. What qualities do you need to become a world SAMBO champion?

– You need endurance and hard work. A lot of willpower. Trust only in yourself and your strength. And be ready for everything. It's your unreasonable expectations, not people, that disappoint you.

7. What would you like to say to your fans? And to your opponents?

– I'd like to ask my fans to cheer for our team, they really need support. Show interest in champions, talk to them. Champions are often very modest people and they'll be incredibly happy if you admire them. To my opponents – train hard, because it won't be easy for you.
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