Otabek Imamov: there is a certain growth in the development of archery
Chairman of the Archery Federation of Uzbekistan Otabek Imamov, who was a guest of the information and analytical program" OlympicUz", spoke about the analysis of his two-year activity, obstacles that have arisen in the development of this sport, significant steps in strengthening international relations, issues of attracting compatriots working abroad to the national team.
- Otabek Sobitzhonovich, more than two years have passed since your admission to the federation. At that time, the federation was tasked with such tasks as attracting foreign coaches to the national team, effectively organizing training camps, and winning a license for the Tokyo Olympics, if possible. What is the difference between the state in which you accepted the organization and the one in which you are now?
- Indeed, despite the fact that two years are not a long period in history, this is a sufficient opportunity to do some work, get a result, and conduct an analysis. The pandemic has not ceased to have a negative impact on sports, as well as on all industries. But that can't be an excuse. During this period, we have done a lot of work. Conducting breeding work in remote areas, we collected skilled young men and women. If earlier there were about 400 athletes, now we have about 650-700 athletes. Vladimir Lekveishvili, a native of Georgia, who worked as the head coach of the Turkish national archery team, is currently coaching us. With the arrival of this specialist, Zakirjon Gafurov took a place in the top five at the Asian Championship. Ziedakhon Abdusattorova from Ferghana took the 4th place in the continental youth tournament. This is the product of our two years of work.
Archery is one of our long-standing national games. It is not a mistake to say that this is an inheritance from our ancestors. From the generals of Amir Temur to the most vicious warlords used it. While this is the first major factor for its development, second, the onion is also a powerful tool for promoting a healthy lifestyle. Because today's young people have gone into the virtual world. A teenager with a bow in his hand repeatedly tries to aim at the target, is in motion. This will help to increase your self-esteem. Regional federations have been established in 6 regions of the republic. Our qualified trainers work there. We conducted seminars with the participation of foreign specialists. We brought in a coach from South Korea. This specialist, which will be launched from the beginning of next year, will focus on breeding. Our goal is to ensure that each province has its own base for the type of archery.
- In all regions, the Federation's branches have not yet been fully opened. This pushed the development of the sport of archery into the background. Are there any objective reasons why the activities of regional federations are not established?
- Coverage of all regions of the republic is one of the main strategies. We have prepared a regulatory document on this issue. It would be a mistake to say that the obstacle. We only need to speed up the movement. Archery requires certain skills. For this reason, when we enter the regions, there must be a qualified coach, novice athletes. We hope that according to the plan, in two years we will cover the entire republic.
— How was the time of quarantine for Sagittarians?
— As in other sports, our athletes were engaged at home. The Ministry of Physical Culture and Sports and the National Olympic Committee have created sufficient conditions for us in this regard. Before the competition, we constantly monitored their downloads via the ZOOM platform. We made sure that the training of the national team did not stop. Last year, our athletes made 700-800 shots a month. Now this figure is 500. Of course, this is a negative impact of the pandemic. We set the finish line bigger. We work as a team with coaches and athletes. I believe that together we can eliminate the shortcomings.
- Yesterday, the Republican Boarding School of the Olympic Reserve hosted the competitions of the championship of Uzbekistan. Naturally, he had a definite purpose. We wanted to know your opinion about the quality of bows and arrows used in competitions.
— As for the inventory, we have provided 6 of our provinces with bows, arrows, and epicureans. To further improve the material and technical base, we have an agreement with the Turkish firm "forever". We also work in cooperation with members of the Turkish national team. Last year, 6 of our athletes took part in a month-long training camp for national archery. They still teach the accumulated experience to our young archers today.
— As you noted, significant steps are being taken to strengthen international relations. Last year, you participated in a trilateral meeting with the Turkish Archery Federation, the Turkish Archery Foundation, and the World Confederation of Ethnic Sports. In archery, we have established warm relations with Turkey. Our training camps are mostly held in this state. They are strong in the National Bow, but not as strong as in the Olympic program. Maybe we should hold a meeting with such leaders as Korea, India, and China?
- Turkey is also free to compete with the countries you mentioned. For this reason, we started working from this country. Our next stage will be with South Korea. We want to hold training camps in the Republic of Korea. You are right, Turkey has a well-developed national shooting range. We have already started such actions. In Uzbekistan, there is a shooting club" tirandoz". Within a month, about a hundred boys and girls showed interest in this sport.
— Last year, all the conditions for licensed competitions were created in Thailand. There were international meetings for 3 months in a row. A coach was brought from abroad. When you started your career as chairman, you also talked about winning a ticket to Tokyo 2020, emphasizing the importance of increasing the number and quality of international tournaments. But there is no license yet. The only hope remained in the collective direction. But now it is being held all over the world. Can we get a license that we didn't get in Asia in a global competition?
— Our athletes are fully trained. But I have to say one aspect that is also found in other sports, namely, when our archers enter the Asian arenas, they stand next to countries like Mongolia, China, Korea. When it first comes out, any athlete is excited. Therefore, the goal that we set for ourselves is the competition of our athletes with the strongest in any tournament, eliminating their excitement, increasing their international experience. Our athlete, who scored 30 points in Uzbekistan, goes abroad and gets 27-28 points. If our athlete could have scored that point in Bangkok, the license would now be cash in our hands. The necessary conclusion is drawn from these shortcomings. We increase mental readiness. There is a certain growth. At the World Cup, they are seriously preparing for this. We are working to adapt our athletes to this environment.
— You have been living in this industry for two years. You're working hard. In any case, it is difficult to achieve results without a leading coach. In this sense, is it possible to attract internationally recognized specialists to the national team?
— We planned to bring a coach from Korea to the next Olympic cycle – Paris-2024. We can say that this is the difficult side. But at a time when such conditions are created, it is not fair to justify yourself.
— What are the preparation plans for Hangzhou 2022 and Paris 2024?
— We have a clear strategy in this regard.
— Is the option of attracting our compatriot Natalia Butuzova, who works in Germany, to the national team being considered?
— We invited this specialist. When the pandemic restrictions ease, we will release this news. We have a plan to make the most of the experience of our compatriots.
- Thank you for a meaningful conversation.
Zafar Imamkhodjayev spoke.