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Siberian wrestler Roman Vlasov strikes gold for Russia

By The Siberian Times reporter
06 August 2012

Roman Vlasov, pictured in Novosibirsk. Picture:bolshoisport.ru 

Vlasov beat Arsen Julfalakyan in the final by two rounds to none in the under 74kg division, denying the Armenian's dreams of matching his father Levon's title for the Soviet Union in Seoul in 1988.

'It has not sunk in yet that I have the gold medal. I am just so happy,' said Vlasov. 'The whole country has supported me, has rooted for me. This is a success of the whole country.'

The gold medallist who hails from Novosibirsk said the secret of his success was respecting Julfalakyan.

'I respect him as an opponent. His father was an Olympic champion, and every meeting I have with him is a difficult one.'

He stressed: 'I went to London to win. It seems to me that any athlete from Russia goes to the Olympics to win the gold medal. 

'I have been going to this victory for a long time, I have trained for six years and now this day has come. 

'I just have unbelievable feelings, I am feeling some warmness in the heart, I realise that I really did something. 

'After the final I was looking at the coaches, how they were rejoicing, I was looking at the spectators and realised that I won and the fight is over.'

Vlasov has previous collected the European and world titles and now wants to pause before going back for more titles.

'I will keep training and get ready for the next Olympic Games. Certainly, I should take a break, because the last three years were very difficult,' he said.

'I am very tired, I want to take some rest, forget about wrestling, probably, I will play football a little bit to restore my forces. And then wrestling and training again.'

Vlasov follows in the footsteps of wrestling great Aleksandr Karelin, also from Novosibirsk, considered the greatest Greco-Roman wrestler of all time, who won golds at  the 1988, 1992 and 1996 Olympic Games.

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I am adopted from russia. I was adopted at the age 3 in the year 2000 on December 5th.
Maria Sergueyevna Bannikova, US
11/10/2012 00:25
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