The name of the international weightlifting referee, Secretary General of the National Weightlifting Federation of Turkmenistan Chary Mammedov is well known. He has worked at the national championships, as well as at the international competitions. To date, our compatriot is a referee at the XXXII Summer Olympics. We interviewed Chary Mammedov on the eve of the national team's departure for the Olympics.
– How did you start with the weightlifting?
– Our family lived in the Herrikgala residential complex near Ashgabat. My elder brother took me to the capital weightlifting school in 1999, when I was 12 years old. My first coach Shamsuddin Tursunmagomedov taught me the basic skills of this sport.
– What results did you achieve as an athlete?
– I became the champion of Turkmenistan in the 69-kilogramme weight class junior events and in the 77-kilogramme weight class senior events. I took part in the international competitions on a regular basis. In general, I had accumulated some experience in weightlifting at that time.
– Why did you continue as a referee?
– I did not think a lot about it, as my attention was focused on the competitions. However, I entered the Turkmen State Institute of Physical Education and Sports in 2006, and this fact predetermined my career prospects. I graduated in 2011. At that time, I started thinking seriously about working as a referee.
– Did you start as a referee on graduation from the Institute?
– To be honest, I started as a weightlifting referee in 2017. In 2017-2018, I worked at the national and international events.
– What was your first international event as a referee?
– The 2019 Youth World Weightlifting Championships was held in Las Vegas, United States. That was my first international experience as a referee. I represented our country at the World Weightlifting Championships the same year. I refereed at the international tournaments in Peru and Uzbekistan in 2019 and 2020, at the 2021 Asian Championships in Tashkent in April, and at the 2021 Youth World Championships in May. To date, the biggest test in my sports career is the Tokyo Olympics. I hope to do my best and to referee at the great sports festival.
– You will take part in a great event. The work of referees in other sports is more or less clear to the fans...
– I understand what you mean. In fact, the referees at the weightlifting events are called the technical officials. About 40 referees take part in a tournament. About 10 referees are the jury members of the tournament. Some of them referee the events.
– What is the difference between them?
– The referees evaluate the athlete's results in the competition. Meanwhile, the jury members monitor and confirm the referees' decisions at the end of the event. Besides, there are also technical controllers. They control the weight of the barbell and the condition of the athlete's outfit. In general, they do not miss all the activities that take place in the competition. Besides, there are doctor, director, and secretary of the tournament. They are responsible for the documents and all the incidents.
– Did you participate in the meetings for referees on the eve of the Olympics?
– Yes, the training sessions and meetings are mandatory in the run-up to each tournament. Experts discuss the changes in weightlifting at such sessions and meetings. In this context, I should note a feature in weightlifting. Our sport is transparent. Moreover, there is no misunderstanding between the referees and the athletes. We stay in the same hotels, keep in touch and exchange ideas with athletes. This fact has a positive effect both on the referees, and on the athletes preparing for the tournament.
– When the Olympic weightlifting events will take place?
– The weightlifting competitions in the Olympic Games will start on July 24. The finals will be held on August 4. The athletes will compete in the heavyweight events that day.
– Do you expect successful performance of the Turkmen weightlifters at the Tokyo Olympics?
– I hope so. We are optimistic about the Tokyo Olympics. To date, our athletes receive a lot of support thanks to the concern of the President of Turkmenistan. Hojamuhammet Toychyyev (+109 kg), Ovez Ovezov (109 kg), Rejepbay Rejepov (81 kg), Polina Guryeva (59 kg) and Kristina Shermetova (55 kg) will represent Turkmenistan at the weightlifting events. Considering their previous results, they have an excellent opportunity to win medals.
– Chary, they say ‘goodwill makes the road shorter’. We wish you and our athletes the best of luck. Thank you for the interview!
– Thank you!