A list of top ten 2017 Armenian athletes provokes a lively debate
The Armenian media has published a list with the names of the top ten best athletes of Armenia in 2017. These names were chosen via votes received from sports journalists and mobile text messages of sports fans.
The top ten athletes were:
Henrikh Mkhitaryan, football, midfielder of the English Manchester United club.
Artur Aleksanyan, greco-roman wrestling, Olympic champion and three-time world champion.
Levon Aronyan, international chess grandmaster, two time world cup winner.
Grigor Mkhitaryan, member of the Armenian sambo team, world champion.
Maksim Manukyan, greco-roman wrestling, world champion.
Hovhannes Bachkov, boxer, multiple-time champion of Armenia, European Championship gold medalist.
Simon Martirosyan, weightlifting, Olympic silver medalist.
Edgar Stepanyan, member of the Armenian cycling team.
Artur Tovamasyan, member of the Armenian gymnastics team.
Tigran Kirakosyan, member of the Armenian sambo team, four-time world cup winner, world champion and three-time European Championship gold medalist.
The athletes were given symbolic statue-trophies and keys to Hyundai Elantra vehicles.
However, not everyone believes that the selection was fair. Some think that athletes equally deserving of this title were not included on the list.
This discontent was expressed by greco-roman wrestler Artur Aleksanyan. His statement resonated in the sports world as he was one of the athletes nominated.
“I don’t agree with this list. This year we had winners on the world and European level who didn’t make it onto the list. I think that this is the fault of the Ministry of Sports. It is likely that the vote was not properly organized. How can a world champion remain off the list? I don’t want the impression to be formed that my opinion is being affected by the fact that I was not number one on the list. I simply do not agree with the results of the voting,” said Artur Aleksanyan.
The list of the ten best athletes of the year was also criticised by Artur Aleksanyan’s brother, Rafael Aleksanyan, who is also a greco-roman wrestler. He believes that footballer Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who plays for the English Manchester United club shouldn’t have been on the list.
“I respect Henrikh Mkhitaryan greatly. He is, without a doubt, the best footballer in the history of Armenia, but he didn’t win anything for our country – and so he shouldn’t have been on the list. The fact that he brought us into the limelight doesn’t mean that he has to be included in the rating of the best athletes of Armenia,” he said.