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Combat Sambo League championship

February 22, 2020, Sochi

Vladimir Putin attended the first Combat Sambo League championship held at the Ice Cube Olympic arena in Sochi.

Taking part in the tournament were 14 top athletes of the Russian national combat sambo junior team, including 11 Masters of Sport, three candidates to the title of the Master of Sport, winners and medallists of the 2019 Russian Junior Combat Sambo championship.

The declaration on the establishment of the Combat Sambo League was signed ahead of the championship by the League’s President Arkady Rotenberg, President of the FIAS International Sambo Federation Vasily Shestakov and heads of continental sambo federations.

* * *

Speech at the award ceremony for the winners of the first Combat Sambo League championship

Vladimir Putin: Friends,

Sambo means self-defence without arms. It is a martial art that has become a bold signature card of our national fitness culture and a sport recognisable for hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people.

It is a national sport – spectacular, beautiful and dynamic. And that did not happen by chance. Specialists are aware that it incorporated the best achievements of the holds and takedowns from ethnic martial arts of the peoples of the Soviet Union.

Today, sambo has broken through national borders and is practiced in 84 countries on all continents. From the onset, sambo comprised two parts – athletic and combat. Combat sambo developed step by step, quietly and steadily as a particular kind of training for intelligence, counterintelligence and Defence Ministry special units.

But now we can see that owing to its organisers this sport is attracting a broad audience. Combat sambo is becoming a popular sport. I am confident that thousands of people in our country and abroad will recognise and love its combat part as well.

I would like to sincerely thank all those who organised today’s event as well as the athletes – gifted, valiant and handsome people with truly manly personalities.

There are no losers here – everyone is on the podium. Congratulations to you all!

February 22, 2020, Sochi