Aurora, CO – Two competitors from the London Olympic Games have come to Aurora, CO to continue their martial arts training at the Korean Academy of Taekwondo. They are Alisher Gulov and Farkhod Negmatov, both from Tajikistan. It is very difficult to qualify for the Olympics in Taekwondo, as the International Olympic Committee has limited the number of spots to 64 for men and 64 for women. Colorado Martial Arts News sat down with both of them to get to know them better. They were very excited to be in Colorado. Alisher stated that Colorado makes him feel right at home. Not only are the people here very friendly and welcoming, the topography and climate of our state match almost exactly with his home country. In fact, despite Tajikistan being over 7000 miles away, both places are at about 39 degrees latitude.
Farkhod talked about his favorite memory from the London Games. He said that the tournament is fundamentally different from any other he has been to. What was surprising was the differences between the Olympics and the World Championships. In the World Championships, athletes are with their full teams and focused mostly on performance. In the Olympics, however, there are usually only one or two people from each country and everyone is so happy just to be there. There is a lot more camaraderie between athletes from different countries and different sports.
Each country is only allowed to attempt to qualify two men and two women for the Olympics. They also brought their team mate Khusrav Giyosov with them. All three talked about the steps that led to Master Komil being named head coach. They said that they had had several coaches before, but that they were overly strict, inflexible, and formal to the point that it impaired their performance. So they approached the Tajikistan Federation and requested that Master Komil be given a chance as the coach. So far they are very happy with the change. Master Komil stated “Because I used to be a member of this team and have known these athletes since they were young, I feel like I understand what they are going through. This will help me to increase their performance in the 2013 World Championships and beyond.”
The Tajiks join Ahmed Alsubaihawi (Iraq) and Joshua Kosloski (AAU Cadet) to make five current national team members training at the Korean Academy of Taekwondo. Master Katie Pottle said “We realize how rare Olympians are in Taekwondo and that Alisher and Farkhod could choose to train at basically any school in the world. We are extremely honored to have them here.” In fact, KAT might be the only school in the country to have two male Taekwondo competitors from the 2012 games training in their school.
Look for more coverage in the future as well as exclusive photos and videos from Colorado Martial Arts News!