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Alexander Mikhailin claims place at national Russian team
21 Sep 2016 13:50
Look who’s back on the tatami; 37 year old Alexander Mikhailin, silver medallist at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, who won the national Russian championships in September in Khabarovsk. Although the considered top three such as Renat Saidov, Soslan Bostanov and Andrey Volkov weren’t fighting at this national championship, Mikhailin looked good and won his tenth gold medal.
Mikhailin quit after the 2013 World Championships in Rio to make space for Renat Saidov and only competed at team championships and lost to Hisayoshi (now number two at the Olympics in Rio) at the Grand prix in Düsseldorf. Looking at this Olympic cycle, Mikhailin now comes back about ‘making space’ and showed he is able to compete internationally. Based on his title Mikhailin expected an invitation of the Russian Federation Training Centre, which has already started. Mikhailine is claiming a spot in the Russian team.
Mikhailin doesn’t agree with team manager Ezio Gamba about the invitation and is ready to fight for another country if needed he announced in an interview after Gamba asked him to make space for Saidov. For instance the national federation of Tajikistan would be pleased to have Mikhailin in the team which is the most likely situation. Mikhailin's coach is Rasul Boqiev who won Olympic bronze in 2008 in Beijing on behalf of Tajikistan. Mikhailin wants equal terms for him in the Russian team, if not he will request to change nationality. If needed accepting a penalty of perhaps two years, depending on the Russian Federation.
In the past other Russians have changed nationality such as Vladimir Zoloev, Otar Bestaev, who was one of the sensations at the Olympic Games fighting for Kyrgystan and Ferdinand Karapetian who switched to Armenia. In the previous Olympic cycle Dmitri Gerasimenko switched to Serbia.
While the Russian team is preparing in Grozny, Mikhailin is awaiting decisions. Russian head coach Dimitri Morozov already mentioned that the winners of the Russian Championships were going to be invited at the Russian Training Centre.
Alexander Mikhailin is triple World Champion, he won seven World medals, he is six time European Champion with a total of 11 medals and was Olympic finallist +100kg at the London Olympic Games. Mikhailin won various European and World titles with the Russian team and won 16 World Cups and 30 medals.
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