By Lusine Shahbazyan
Armenian wrestling federation introduced 2004 Olympic champion and five-time world champion Khadzhimurat Gatsalov who has joined Armenian national team.
Former Russian team leader will represent Armenia in the freestyle 97 kg class.
“After long negotiations, with the consent of the Armenian government, Khadzhimurat Gatsalov changed his sports citizenship. We want to thank the Prime Minister of Armenia for providing Gatsalov with an Armenian passport,” federation’s Secretary General Arayik Baghdadyan said.
“The federation did not pay for Gatsalov’s transfer. There is a state payment equivalent to 10 thousand francs, of which 5,000 was paid by the International Federation, and 5, 000 by the Russian federation”.
He added that the Olympic champion did not personally demand or receive any funds for representing Armenia.
Armenian federation’s president Robert Khachatryan handed over to Hadzhimurat Gatsalov the uniform of the Armenian national team. Gatsalov’s first official competition with the Armenian team will take place at the Olympic qualifying tournament in Budapest from March 19 to 22.