Sardor Abdukholikov: "the number of our licenses at the Tokyo Paralympics will be twice as large»
This issue of the information and analytical program" OlympicUz " spoke about the activities of the National Paralympic Association of Uzbekistan, the preparation of our athletes for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics, opportunities and plans. This was told by our interlocutor, the head coach of the national team of Uzbekistan in para-athletics Sardor Abdukholikov.
- The Association organizes and conducts competitions of various levels among athletes with disabilities. We are well aware that in 2014, the National Paralympic Association of Uzbekistan was recognized as the best sports organization in Asia. So, after 13 years of activity, how is Paralympic sport developing today?
— Over the past period, we have become an organization that demonstrates the abilities of people with disabilities in our society. Our athletes have achieved great victories at the Rio 2016 Paralympics. The Paralympic movement, organized by the will of Allah in order to increase the motivation of people suffering from a particular physical defect to live, has gained wide popularity around the world today. In parallel with the Olympics, the Paralympic Games are developing on a large scale, and today the number of sports in our country is growing. In 13 years, he has competed three times in the Paralympic Games, twice in the Paralympic Games, and once every two years in the World Championships. Then this process continues sequentially.
— After a short break, our athletes will go to training camps starting from the New Year. Tell me, how do these meetings begin?
— From January 4 next year, we will go to the UAE to train with our para-athletes. We will hold a pre-season monthly meeting there. The decisive license tournament for the Paralympic Games will be held from 7 to 13 February. We must ensure that our athletes take part in it with dignity.
— Our athletes attended the XV Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro with 32 athletes who won 8 gold, 6 silver and 17 bronze medals. Of course, it is only natural that more medals are expected at the Tokyo Paralympics. If we talk about the preparatory processes currently underway, the expected results.
— At the moment, we have 16 licenses. This figure should increase even more. Over the past four years, the main focus has been on breeding work. Sufficient conditions were created for the selected athletes. No athlete went unnoticed even during the 6-7-month quarantine period. We conducted online training with them. Even from the most remote villages, athletes were attracted. They were constantly under the supervision of coaches. While in Rio we participated in 5 sports, in Tokyo we planned to defend the honor of our Homeland in 3 new directions. From April 1, 2021, licensed competitions will be discontinued. By this date, we plan to increase the number of trips to two times.
In the selection work, we have seen that many people with disabilities are incredibly depressed, their interest in life has faded. Acquired defects, not birth defects, are very difficult. Let's give an example of the care provided by our state to the Paralympians to raise their spirits, awarding our athletes with high titles, providing expensive cars. Gradually, we bring them out of the spiritual swamp. We ask you to show courage and bravery. In this way, we attract talent from them to the national team.
- Today, the Paralympians of Uzbekistan are considered one of the strongest in the world. It gives pride on the one hand, of course. On the other hand, this situation imposes a great responsibility on our athletes. In this sense, at the training camp, our athletes should feel this task and organize training sessions. If we talk about training camps.
- Para-our athletes won 7 licenses in Rio 2016. And this year, we earned 8 tickets for one tournament. We have 3 more international starts ahead of us. After the competitions in the UAE, Tunisia and Brazil, the tickets will be given to the athletes who are in the top 6 in the world classification. Of course, compared to healthy people, the long-distance flight of our Paralympians affects their physical condition – this can be observed in blood circulation, brain activity, and adaptation to the environment. Taking this into account, it is planned to participate in two competitions, the distance of which is close. And then we have a chance to win 14-15 or even more tickets to the Tokyo Paralympics in powerlifting.
— At the Rio Paralympics, our representatives took part in competitions in 5 sports – athletics, swimming, judo, archery, weightlifting. You said that three more sports were added. What areas, in your opinion, have developed? What other types can we expect results from?
- Currently, licenses in these areas have been cashed out. There is a possibility of further improvement of this indicator. These sports are para-taekwondo, para-canoeing and para-academy. There are world champions in these areas. They are also competing for prizes in Tokyo. Para-table tennis is a new direction. The championship of Uzbekistan went very well. The interest of athletes is noticeable. There are talented ones. We look forward to their worthy participation and licenses for the Hangzhou 2022 and Paris 2024 Games.
Taking into account our material and technical capabilities and the qualifications of our specialists, we will expand the sport. The program of the Paralympics includes 22 sports. One of these is boccia. That is, the appearance of curling in healthy people. There is also a sport called golf, which is a basketball passing competition between three blind athletes. Selection work has begun in football, cycling, and equestrian sports for the 5×5 blind. A road map for their development has been developed.
— This year, despite the pandemic conditions, international and local competitions were organized at the beginning of the year, as well as online tournaments during the quarantine period. Will the tradition of determining the "best Paralympian of the year"continue during this difficult period?
— This process has been reviewed by our association. Indeed, our athletes participated in competitions from different points of view during the season. Someone with comfort, someone else took an active part in the work in the yard. Given this, it would be unfair if we were to determine the Paralympian of the year. We aim to award them both next year.
- Thank you for a meaningful conversation!
Interviewed by Zafar Imomkhodjaev