• International A-Category Tournament in the Prizes of the President of Republic of Belarus

International A-Category Tournament in the Prizes of the President of Republic of Belarus

10 August 2012 Sergei Grishin
The International A- Category Tournament - the Open Championship of Republic of Belarus in the Prizes of the President of Republic of Belarus - will be held in Minsk, on February 22-24. It is the first of the tree international tournaments of this category to be held in the year 2012 under the auspices of FIAS. The USA Open is scheduled for May; on June 10-12, a similar event - Yu. Potapov Memorial - will be held in Vladivostok (Russia). SAMBO is one of the most popular martial arts in Belarus. This country's SAMBO team is one of the strongest in the world. At the World Championships 2011 in Vilnius, the Belorussian sambo-athletes took the 2nd place in team classification (in three disciplines) trailing only the Russian team. Team of the Belarus won 4 gold medals, 4 silver medals, and 3 bronze medals in Lithuania. This year, the Open Belarus Championships will be held for the 16th time. During the last 16 years, Minsk was visited by the best sambo - athletes of the world. The record number of participants was achieved in 2008 when representatives of 22 countries took the stage. In 2007, the President's Sports Club - one of the organizers of the tournament - established two special prizes in addition to the traditional awards: "For Will to Win" and "For the Best Techniques". Last year they were won respectively by Yury Rybak from Belarus (4-time World Champion and the winner of the silver medal at the World Championships 2011,) and Martin Ivanov from Bulgaria (the winner of the bronze medal at the World Championships 2011). This year, the tradition will be continued and the prizes (Swiss watches) will be given to "the most strong-willed" and "the most technically perfect" athletes again. Last year, at the 15th anniversary tournament, the home team managed to win 14 medals (including 5 gold, 5 silver and 4 bronze medals) and the first place in the team classification. The Belarus team finished with 53 points leaving behind its eternal rivals: Russia (45) and Kazakhstan (16). In medal classification, the home team was followed by: Georgia (2, 0, 0), Russia (1, 3, 10), Ukraine (1, 0, 0), Bulgaria (0, 1, 0), Kazakhstan (0, 0, 3) and Greece (0, 0, 1). This year, the organizers expect sambo-athletes from 20 countries to come to Minsk. The host country will be represented by the strongest athletes including the winners of World Championships 2011 Andrei Kurlypo (52 kg), Stepan Popov (74 kg) and Yury Rybak (+100 kg). It is remarkable that Minsk will host the World Championships this year; thus, the international tournament in February will be a kind of rehearsal for the organizers of the Planet Championship to be held in November.
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