Armenian Athletes Strike Gold in Tashkent
YEREVAN – Armenian Greco-Roman wrestlers Arsen Julfalakyan and Artur Aleksanyan won 2014 world champion status in the 75kg and 98kg categories in Tashkent last week. Armenia was the only country to bring home two gold medals at this year’s world wrestling tournament.
At Zvartnots Airport, the Armenian athletes were welcomed by a huge crowd of fans. Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs, Gabriel Ghazaryan, was also there to greet the champions.
Arsen Julfalakyan (75 kg) beat Croatia’s Neven Jugai (4 – 0) to win a gold medal at the World Wrestling Championships. On the way to the final, he defeated Azerbaijan’s Elvin Mursaliyev 9: 0, Austria’s Florian Marchal, Mexico’s Juan Escobar and Georgia’s Zurab Datunashvili.
Julfalakyan is the son of the famous Armenian wrestler, world and Olympic champion, Levon Julfalakyan. Julfalakyan Jr. is the silver medalist of the London Olympics and World Championship in Moscow in 2010.
Three-time European Champion Artur Aleksanyan (98 kg) brought Armenia another gold medal, beating Germany’s Oliver Hassler in the final. Aleksanyan received a hero’s welcome upon arriving back in his native city of Gyumri on Monday.
Hundreds of Gyumri residents welcomed him at Gyumri’s Shirak International Airport and, subsequently, he took an honor tour of the city.
Accompanied by Gyumri Mayor Samvel Balasanyan, Aleksanyan also prayed at the Surb Astvatsatsin (St. Mary’s) Church, and then joined his fellow Gyumri residents at the city’s central square, where they were celebrating his triumph.
This was 22-year-old three-time European champion Artur Aleksanyan’s first victory in the Wrestling World Championships. And during the post-gold medal match interview, Aleksanyan stated that, now, his dream is Olympic gold.