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Attending combat sambo championship

August 9, 2014, Sochi

Vladimir Putin attended the PLOTFORMA S-70 international combat sambo championship.

This year, Russia’s national martial arts team is facing a combined international team that includes the best athletes from Europe, Asia, and America.

The team fighting ended with a victory by the Russian national team with a score of 9:1. The President took part in the award presentation ceremony.

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan and President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev watched the tournament together with Vladimir Putin.

* * *

Speech at the award presentation ceremony

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Friends,

First of all, I want to address the athletes with words of gratitude and admiration for their courage and their art.

Naturally, here in Russia we always cheer for our athletes. But there are no strangers on the mat, on the tatami or in the ring. This is a lesson we have learned from sport. Of course, there are opponents in the ring, on the mat and on the tatami. But there are no enemies. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if it was always like that, in life as well? Guys, thank you very much.

Also a big thank you to our guests, who have done us the honour of coming to Sochi, to Russia today. Sambo is a sport that was born in the Soviet Union. It is popular in Armenia, and it is well developed in Azerbaijan. I want to welcome our honoured guests and our friends, the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan.

I want to say a word of gratitude to the President of Azerbaijan for having pushed through the first European Games in this wonderful sport, Sambo, which will be held next summer. Thank you.

Once again, I bow to all the athletes. Thank you, guys.

August 9, 2014, Sochi