“We have beaten our medal target a little”

12 November 2012 Sergei Grishin
“We have beaten our medal target a little”

The XXXVI Sport and Combat SAMBO World Championship has already become a history. The best SAMBO fighters from 55 world countries were determining who is currently the best among them for three days, November 9 - 11 at the Minsk Sports Palace. The winners are decided upon, and we offer to experience the past tournament once again and to remember the event.

Eduardas Rudas, President of the Lithuanian Federation, was radiating sheer optimism when the Lithuanian team took a bronze medal in the first day of the World SAMBO Championship in Minsk. “We can already return home with our heads high”, he said following the results of the first competition day. The gold medal that was won by the Lithuanian SAMBO fighter in the second tournament day made Eduardas the happiest person on Earth in no time. And two other bronze medals of his mentees even made him a little bewildered thanks to such successful results. “We did very well, even incredibly well, even better than at the home Championship in Vilnius last year”, he summed up.

World SAMBO Championship in Minsk

Even the Belarusians looked bewildered. They became the hosts of 2012 Championship. Before the launch of the Minsk tournament many specialists forecast that the hosts will be able to fight for the first team place. However, the factor of the home tribunes counted against them. The overstressed SAMBO fighters from Belarus made a great many of unusual mistakes which resulted in only 2 gold medals. That’s not the result the team expected.

– It was probably the desire itself to succeed at home that played a crucial role, – reasons Vyacheslav Kot, the Head Coach of the Belarusian team, following the results of the World Championship. – It is still too early for analysis. I would not like to estimate our performance as an average one either. The second place at the World Championship is an achievement too despite our today’s loss at the match bout “Belarus – Russia”.


Aslambek Aslakhanov, General Officer and Merited Master of Sports, expressed his personal opinion concerning the lack of competition for the first team place.

– Belarus is a team that can boast of strong and distinguished SAMBO fighters and coaches but it yields to Russia in many parameters at the tournament. What is the reason? The fact is that there are a lot of young people in the Russian team, i.e. a lot of youngsters who are ready to replace the champions of the present day while the Belarusians prefer experienced and stable fighters. It is necessary to draw relevant conclusions and to hurl all effort into development of sports among children and training of new champions, – he answered to the journalists’ questions.

Let’s say it again. Genius lies in simplicity. Sooner or later there will be an effect resulting from due attention and mass development of this type of sports. It regards all the countries. And then competing for a place in the national team will happen to be more intense than the victory at the World Championship.

– We have very serious internal classification, – says Aleksey Kharitonov, the World Champion-2012 from Russia. – I think that anyone of those included in the best five fighters following the results of the Russian Championship may come to the World Championship and fight as well as I did. There are probably some problematic weight categories in our team but such gaps are always filled in really fast.

Fedor Emelianenko gave a brief and concise explanation of SAMBO popularity in Russia.

– SAMBO is closer than any other type of combat to the mentality of a Russian person, - he said.

World SAMBO Championship in Minsk

Besides, representatives of many countries expressed their love to SAMBO and to Fedor himself at the Minsk Sports Palace. By the end of the Championship there was an impression that the legendary SAMBO fighter got tired of continuous attention more than any other sportsmen after the end of the mat bouts. Nevertheless Emelianenko tried not to deny anyone who addressed him an autograph, a collective picture or a simple handshake. Fedor managed to relatively fast manoeuvre at the sports complex only thanks to the security that was organized for the irreplaceable champion in Ultimate Fighting over a number of years.

Specially trained people also kept track of movements of the newly-qualified World Champions-2012. The champions were only allowed to give an interview to the journalists and to make a couple of photos right after the victory ceremony after which the gold medallists were taken by the volunteers to take the drug test. All 27 tournament winners passed this abiding procedure.

World SAMBO Championship in Minsk

It should be mentioned that besides traditional favourites, at the World Championship in Minsk medals were won by representatives of countries that could only dream of this before. A stable progress of Italy, successful performances of Great Britain and Greece – medal achievements of these national teams were simultaneously noted by all the specialists following the results of the tournament.

According to Jean-Claude Serutti, President of the French SAMBO Committee, their team expected to win 4 medals at the Championship. There was only one bronze medal in competitions among women in the French collection following the results of the tournament. However, this achievement was also considered as a success by representatives from the country of the Eiffel Tower. Mr. Serutti noted that a World Championship medal will become a convincing reason to attract attention of the government to SAMBO once again. It will promote further development of this martial art in France.

World SAMBO Championship in Minsk

Representatives from Turkmenistan noted a serious approach towards SAMBO development in their own country. While surrounding Gulbadam Babamuratova, the World Champion, the coaches shared their emotions interrupting each other. Here is the speech that was obtained as a result:

– We are very glad and happy. The victory over the Russian fighter is of great importance for us as SAMBO is originally a Russian sport. When we return home from the Championship, the president will definitely award the new champion. Loads of thanks to him for the huge support he lends to our sport.

The happy winner of the gold medal was showing a huge smile at that very moment either rejoicing over the victory or anticipating a gift from the Head of the state.

World SAMBO Championship in Minsk

At the debut World Championship Denis Davydov from Russia who defeated in the finals a considered favourite Dmitriy Bazylev from Belarus was joyful as well. 

– It is not enough to say that I was simply nervous, – Denis shared his emotions. – It was clear to me that Dmitriy performed for his viewers before and wanted to gladden them with beautiful combat once again. That's exactly what I took into consideration, i.e. caught him performing hazardous actions and did not go wrong. Thus, it is possible to defeat even 6-times World Champion.

World SAMBO Championship in Minsk

It was probably Davydov who was born in mind of Dmitriy Troshkin, Chief Coach of the Russian National Team who noted while estimating the team’s results of the Championship that some sportsmen even excelled themselves. Besides, the mentor did not even expect such a successful performance of the Russian team.

– We have beaten our medal target a little. The sportsmen not even performed according to their possibilities, some of them even excelled themselves. There is nothing bad to say about anyone in the team. Everyone did their best. But those who did not win any medals have something to work at. And all honour to the champions! – Dmitriy Troshkin, Chief Coach of the Russian National Team, summed up the tournament results.

Despite the second place that was taken by their national team the Belarusian viewers were clearly upset that their compatriots could not fight for leadership. However, the performances that they together with other sports fans were able to watch live at the Minsk Sports Palace as well as during live broadcast on the FIAS website will remain in their memories forever. Fedor Emelianenko, a VIP sports fan, shared his opinion towards this fact.

– I experience a sheer pleasure of the combat beauty in Minsk. It is possible to estimate the progress of this sport based on the brilliant technique of the competitors. SAMBO is really a spectacular sport and it is worth to be included in the Olympic family, – said Emelianenko.

Those who witnessed it will surely endorse every word of “the last Emperor”.

Aleksandr Solomakhin, www.sambo.sport

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