• William Celestin FOKAM: "In every Victory, the Coach has a Special Place"

William Celestin FOKAM: "In every Victory, the Coach has a Special Place"

3 June 2023 Anton Orlov
William Celestin FOKAM: "In every Victory, the Coach has a Special Place"

Cameroonian athlete William Celestin Fokam won a gold medal in Combat SAMBO in the weight category up to 71 kg at the African Championships held in Casablanca (Morocco). After the final fight, he shared his impressions for the FIAS website.

How do you assess the role of coach Seidou Nji Mouluh in your victory?

– In every victory, the coach has a special place. There can be no victory without a coach, since it is the coach who leads the athlete to victory. And even for a really strong athlete with a high level of technical skill, great experience and serious physical condition, it will be extremely difficult, and sometimes impossible, to achieve a high result without the help of a coach, without his glance and tips from the outside. Therefore, I appreciate the role of my coach in my victory very highly.


I got the impression that the Moroccan athlete Adil Bahar in the final bet on striking technique, and you – on wrestling. Is it so?

– It really is. The fact is that I have been wrestling for 20 years, this is my base. Therefore, the fact that I used wrestling technique to neutralize the opponent and counterattacks is completely normal.

Today in the final you went on the mat against a Moroccan athlete playing at home. Did it bother you?

– Honestly, no. This is the fifth time I have taken part in the African Championships, and during this time I often had to fight with the Moroccans. And every time the Morocco team puts up a new opponent against me, so I’m already used to it.


You are already an experienced and, by sports standards, an age-old athlete. How difficult is it to compete on the mat with young sambists?

– Perhaps my actual age is not small for an athlete, but physical conditions allow me to feel young – much younger than it is written in the passport, because everything comes from the head. And experience tells me how to properly distribute forces during a fight: I don’t rush into it with my head, I don’t deliver an indiscriminate number of blows, I try to calculate in my mind every step I take. Entering the mat, I analyze the tactics of the opponent and look for a suitable response to his actions. I think this is what allows me to achieve high results.


One gets the impression that at every African Sambo Championships between the teams of Morocco and Cameroon there is an unspoken rivalry in the team standings. With your victory, you not only added another gold medal to the Cameroon national team, but also deprived the Moroccans of it at the same time. Is this true, and how important is it for you?

– First of all, every time I achieve high results for myself, my family, my loved ones, and secondly – for my country, my people. The Ministry of Sports of Cameroon always supports us very much, believes in us, and this gives me additional strength and motivation. Today I am very happy and proud that I was able to contribute to the common cause.


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