• Anzhela ZHILINSKAYA: “There are no excuses to be made – there never are”

Anzhela ZHILINSKAYA: “There are no excuses to be made – there never are”

7 December 2023 Aleksandr Solomahin
Anzhela ZHILINSKAYA: “There are no excuses to be made – there never are”

Sambist Anzhela Zhilinskaya had a great year in 2023: she won gold medals at the European Sambo Championships in Israel and the World Combat Games in Saudi Arabia, and also became a silver medalist at the World Sambo Championships in Armenia. In an interview for the FIAS website, Anzhela explained how medals at major tournaments are won, how she motivates herself, and who in her family can compete at the Olympic Games.

– I didn’t approach the World Combat Games very well – I got sick before the competition. I went to the tournament at the end of my illness, I couldn’t miss the Games because the application was in my name. After the victory there were mixed feelings: on the one hand, joy, and on the other, great fatigue. There were no emotions left, complete devastation.


How significant was this medal for you?

– It was not easy for me, so it will be very dear to me. I didn’t feel well, so I became my main opponent on the mat: I had to defeat myself first.

How did you manage to do this?

– I sat aside before the fights and talked to myself. I said to myself: “Anzhela, you train so much, you spend a lot of time and effort working in the gym. You need to do everything that depends on you and even more. You prepare all the time throughout the year, so now you have to go forward and dare.”


I need to win, because that’s what I train for. Then no one will ask you what hurt you, how it hurt. And you can’t look for any excuses for yourself – there never are. You have arrived to the tournament, which means you have to go and fight.

Did any of your opponents surprise you at the Games?

– This is not the first time we have met with Olga Maleiko; it is always interesting to fight with her. And in the final bout it turned out that I was put on hold, at that moment I thought: “Okay, Anzhela, we need to win back!” I tried to get out of the hold, but it didn’t work, I decided that the main thing was not to panic. I need to save our strength and continue to fight.


Who are your main fans?

– My husband and two daughters. My husband watches all our competitions via online broadcast, and not just mine. He knows our entire team, who fights and how. He always cheers for them, so much so that the neighbors hear and thanks to this they know when the SAMBO competitions are taking place.

My youngest daughter is 2 years old, she follows my competitions, and also watches other SAMBO tournaments with me. She always actively supports sportsmen and tells me in all seriousness: “I will fight in competitions!” Judging by her age and genetics, perhaps she will someday compete in the SAMBO tournament at the Olympics.


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