Armenia’s Athletics Team will send five participants to Rio 2016.
Lilit Harutiunyan is one of them, who, despite various difficulties, trains hard and is gradually approaching the fulfillment of her biggest dream, to have performed at the Olympics.
- Lilit, let’s start our conversation by your Olympic quota place. How did you manage to get it?
-Hurdles is a difficult type, takes a lot of effort but I managed to win and get the Rio Olympic quota place. If I am completely honest, I was expecting this as I spent long and difficult time training.
- Hurdling is not the easiest type in athletics indeed. Which are the nuances that the athlete should know?
- The athlete must be physically fit, must keep the spine in correct position every time. I pass 10 hurdles in 400 meters and if I do anything wrong, I can’t continue. I’m training with my coach to run better in the Olympics and my main goal is to improve my own result.
-How could Armenian athletics team get 5 places?
-Amalia was the first to secure the quota place. I was doing all I could to join her. There will be a lot of strong athletes in Rio that’s why we need to give everything we can to have good results.
-Lilit, you have an athletic family. Your father is a wrestler and your mother did table tennis, basketball, brother is a professional boxer and your sister Christine is also an athlete and took part in London Olympics. How did you become an athlete?
-Yes, my family is extremely athletic. Sport was our heritage. My school physics education teacher told me to train but I had no wish to run. I went to the stadium once and saw how people are training and something just changed inside me. My father was against us pursuing athletics as a career but seeing our success, he made his peace with it.
-Was it easy to return to sport after getting married and having a child?
-My husband and mother in law used to be athletes as well and now they are coaches. Honestly, I started training more after getting married. And after giving birth I could easily come back to sport with the help of my husband and mother in law and could overcome the obstacles together with them. The Head of Athletics Federation in Vanadzor Adik Ardaryan also has a huge contribution in my success.
-What’s the role of your daughter in your training life?
- Victoria always attends my trainings and gives me instructions when to start. She sometimes even gets angry when I don’t train as well. I always say that one day she will run better than me, and I will leave sport.
-What is it that you like about sport?
-Competitiveness. I like to compete and I think where there is struggle there is also a result. I don’t like avoiding competitors. I like competing with stronger athletes to learn from them.
-Lilit, finish please this sentences: During the games I think about.....
-improving my results.
-Athlete going to the Olympic Games should.....
-be proud, responsible and confident.
-When I was little I was dreaming of becoming...
-On the way to Rio
-I will try to keep myself busy as I’m terrified of flying.
-In Olympic Games Armenian team will be able to...
-have good results and medal.
Gohar Nalbandyan spoke with Lilit Harutyunyan
Photos by Emin Aristakesyan
The partner of the project