LONDON—Athletes representing Armenia in the Olympic Games arrived in London where they will be competing in a variety of sports, including boxing, weightlifting, wrestling judo, swimming, gymnastics, shooting, track & field and taekwondo.
The 25-person team includes four women, two of whom will compete in weightlifting and the other two in swimming and track each. On the men’s side, seven will compete in wrestling, six in weightlifting, four in track & field, two in swimming, two in judo and one each in boxing, taekwondo, gymnastics and shooting.
President Serzh Sarkisian also left for London Thursday to attend the opening ceremonies of the Olympic Games, which will be held on Friday.
Prior to his departure, Sarkisian issued an encouraging statement to the athletes.
“Our compatriots in Armenia and the Diaspora will attentively follow your performances. I believe you will meet the expectations, and will join Olympic champions and prize winners from Armenia and find your place in the history book of Armenian athletics,” said Sarkisian in his statement.
“I am confident that you will represent our country with honor, embark on fair competition, fully demonstrate your skills, and protect the honor of Armenia’s athletic flag,” said Sarkisian, who added that he would like to become an “eyewitness of your victories to share with you the joy of triumph.”
Armenia took away six bronze medals in the 2008 Beijing Games. This time, too, they are looking to come back winners.
Boxer Andranik Hakobyan, told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am) on Wednesday before leaving for London that he is in good form and aiming for an Olympic medal. “We are going [to London] with high expectations,” said Hakobyan. “We should try to do our utmost to return home with a medal.”
The youngest of the Olympic team members are 18-year-old swimmer Anahit Barseghyan and 19-year-old gymnast Artur Davtyan. Also on the team are wrestling champion Artur Aleksanyan, 20, who earlier this year won a gold medal at the European Wrestling Competition and weightlifter Norayr Vardanyan, 24. Vardanyan trained with his father, Yuri, who won a gold medal in the 1980 Moscow Games. The team also includes 2008 bronze medal winners 24-year-old Tigran Martirosyan (weightlifting and 32-year-old Yuri Patrikeyev (wrestling). Veteran Olympians Armen Nazarian, 30 (Judo), and Norayr Bakhtamyan, 41 (shooting) will compete in their third Olympic Games.
Chairman of Armenia’s National Olympic Committee Gagik Tsarukian, has pledged a $700,000 bonus to athletes for each gold medal. Meanwhile the government has said it would reward the equivalent of about $72,000, $48,000 and $24,000 to gold, silver and bronze medalists, respectively.
Aside from the 25 athletes competing in Team Armenia, an estimated seven athletes of Armenian descent will represent other countries.
Artur Ayvazyan, who won a gold medal in 2008, will again represent Ukraine in shooting competitions, while Misha Aloyan (boxing, 52 kg), David Ayrapetyan (boxing, 49 kg) and Arsen Galstyan (judo, 60 kg) will be competing for the Russian team. Vazgen Safaryants will represent Belarus (boxing, 60 kg). Tvin Moumjoghlian, 23 (table tennis) and Gretta Taslakian, 27 (track & field) will compete in the Lebanon team.
Below is the list of athletes (in alphabetical order) and the field of their competition.
Name Age Competition
Artur Aleksanyan 20 Greco-Roman wrestling, 96 kg
Norayr Bakhtamyan 41 Pistol and Air Pistol shooting
Anahit Barseghyan 18 Swimming, 100 m backstroke
Meline Daluzyan 24 Women’s weightlifting, 69 kg
Artur Davtyan 19 Gymnastics
Hovhannes Davtyan 28 Judo, 60 kg
Andranik Hakobyan 30 Boxing, 75 kg
Kristine Harutyunyan 21 Javelin throw
Mihran Jaburyan 27 Freestyle wrestling, 55 kg
Melik Janoyan 27 Javelin throw
Arsen Julfalakyan 25 Greco-Roman wrestling, 74 kg
Ara Khachatryan 29 Weightlifting, 85 kg
Hripsime Khurshudyan 24 Women’s weightlifting, 75 kg
Mikael Koloyan 29 Swimming, 100m freestyle
Tigran Martirosyan 24 Weightlifting, 77 kg
Arakel Mirzoyan 22 Weightlifting, 69 kg
Armen Nazaryan 30 Judo, 66 kg
Gadzhimurad Nurmagomedov, 25 Freestyle wrestling, 84 kg
Vardan Pahlevanyan 24 Long jump
Yuri Patrikeyev 32 Greco-Roman wrestling, 120 kg
David Safaryan 22 Freestyle wrestling, 66 kg
Arsen Sargsyan 27 Long jump
Norayr Vardanyan 25 Weightlifting, 94 kg
Hovhannes Varderesyan 23 Greco-Roman wrestling, 66 kg
Arman Yeremyan 26 Taekwondo, 80 kg