By Khachik Chakhoyan
YEREVAN. – Not too many people know that Armenia has a women’s national boxing team, and two of its members have a chance to compete at the 2012 London Olympics. NEWS.am Sport interviewed the squad’s head coach Rafayel Mehrabyan, and below is an excerpt from the interview.
There is virtually no information on the women’s boxing team of Armenia.
Armenia’s team was formed in January, and seven athletes were included in the squad.
Why are [only] two athletes participating in the trainings in [Armenia’s] Tsaghkadzor [city]?
[Solely] Armine Sinabyan (60 kg) and Ashkhen Simonyan (75 kg) are training for the Olympic qualifiers. The women’s boxing has no state patronage as of yet; only the Boxing Federation is covering the costs, and it was impossible to include all [national team] members in the training.
When and where will the women’s boxing Olympic qualifiers be held?
The women’s world boxing championships will be held on May 10-21 in China, and these will be the sole Olympic qualifiers.
How do you assess our athletes’ chances?
Ashkhen Simonyan is a determined athlete, but she has no competition experience. She is, however, growing every day. As for Armine Sinabyan, we have great expectations [from her]. Sinabyan is a European silver medalist, and she has a very good chance to qualify for London.
What distinguishes this boxer?
First, Armine has a very good technique, and she is physically well-prepared, too. And Armine is a very organized athlete. She simply lives with boxing.
Where did Armine Sinabyan start boxing?
Armine was born in Sweden, and she started [boxing] there, under her father’s coaching. Later, she trained in Armenia, and she likewise trained with us before the European championships.
(Photographed is Armine Sinabyan)