The General Director of Astana Arlans Kazakhstan Bolat Mankenov talked to the News Agency “Kazinform” as he returned from the WSB Season IV Finals in Baku. Mankenov was in the Azerbaijani capital to support the hometown team with whom he and his Astana athletes have constructed a strong bond over the years of the competition. Despite the Fires handing the Arlans defeat in their semi-final meeting, they both share a neighborly relationship, a testament to the progression brought about by AIBA in projects like WSB.
Mr. Mankenov, what were your impressions of the final?
The fight turned out to be very strained, and because of that very interesting; the Cubans at the end of the season appeared tired and a few of them simply exhausted but the victory was deserved.
What are the changes to the Arlans? Is the departure of Sergiy Derevyanchenko already a foregone conclusion?
Yes, I want to thank Sergiy because he has done a lot for our team and I want to wish him new success. But all the members of our team at this moment are on holiday. We must decide our plans by the 1st of August. We need to draw up a preparation plan.
Will head coach Sergey Korchinskiy stay with the team?
I very much hope so. Right now he is also on holiday. Generally, we need everyone to take a break from boxing. But then we, together with Sergey Korchinskiy, will discuss a formation structure and plans for the preparation of the team.
How have you reacted to the statements by a number of experts, including the head coach of the National Team of Kazakhstan Myrzagali Aytzhanov, that the National team and Astana Arlans should be one?
If such a desire exists, then I don’t see the problem. I brought along similar offers to the first and second seasons of WSB. What you get from this is a different question. I just said that the Cubans, who took part in the fourth season with the first numbers of their team, looked exhausted in the final. We need ahead of the Olympic Games to develop a joint program, approve it, and then carry it out. The APB is being added this year and the national team has an important start with the Asian games. So, decisions need to be made, we are all working for the development of Kazakhstan.
When will the fifth season of the WSB start?
It is likely to be next year, 2015, at the earliest. The first match is planned for January 7-8.. In May, the first license holders for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games of 2016 from WSB and APB should be declared. So we need the regular season to take place in a very short time from January to April. In this sense, the matches will be every week.
And what will the team do currently in 2014?
Prepare. Sure, competitive training is paramount, and we understand this. We hope to hold exhibition matches, so preliminary talks with the Cuban team have already taken place.