Riga - the capital of youth SAMBO

12 August 2012 Sergei Grishin
Last year the similar SAMBO Championships have been held in the capital of Georgia, Tbilisi. Back then the sambo competition was hosted by the Givi Kartozia Wrestling Palace, named after the great Georgian Greco-Roman wrestler, three-time World Champion and Olympic Champion. In 2010 the Championships gathered nearly 300 young athletes from 20 countries, and more than 3000 spectator came to support them and enjoy the wrestling. SAMBO is widely popular sports discipline in Georgia, where wrestling traditions are very strong overall. It is popular among men and is a part of youth upbringing. Therefore there was no shortage of fans in Tbilisi; knowledgeable and capable of understanding finer details of SAMBO fans at that. Gifted youngsters from Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan and the young hosts of the Championships were the most impressive ones at the mats in Georgia. At home the Georgian sambo wrestlers displayed mature wrestling and managed to win the gold in team classification in both Youths and Juniors. They have, in fact, succeeded, in a fair and hardline competition, to overcome in a battle for the team's leadership traditionally the strongest team, the Russians. Somewhat less known for sambo countries like Estonia, Venezuela and Lithuania also managed to distinguished themselves by winning medals. And now it is the time for the capital of Latvia, Riga, to welcome the Championships. It is expected that some 400 athletes from 30 countries of the world will arrive. The competition will take place in the small, but very cozy and attractive Olympic Sports Centre. As usual, teams Russia, Georgia and Belarus are among the favorites. Naturally, at the home tournament we are also likely to see young sambo wrestlers from Latvia on the podium, since even the walls help at home. This year, due to the Championships being held in Riga, the local team will consist of 20 sambo wrestlers, including 4 girls. For Latvia it is quite a numerous delegation. Among the Latvian favorites, the Championships medal contenders are Vadim Lando in 100kg weight class and Vyacheslav Romanenok, who competes in 87kg. Vyacheslav is a medalist of this year European Youth SAMBO Championships. It is natural that he is also lured by the world sambo podium. Vadim is a medalist of Youth World Cup events in judo. His successes in Olympic judo let the spectators hope for no less successful performance in SAMBO. And naturally SAMBO, like any other wrestling discipline, is always distinguished by intrigue and unexpected turns of events during the competition. Therefore we hope that the Latvians will have enough of opportunities to both worry and rejoice. Teams Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan bring what coaches refer to as "even" line ups. It would be very interesting to see the young French team, which has been recently improving by leaps and bounds. Strong judo school, a sport at which the French nowadays are recognized leaders on par with the creators of that martial art the Japanese, is a bit like our SAMBO. This might be the secret of successful development of our wrestling discipline in the fashion capital of the world. The FIAS through the assistance of the European Broadcasting Union plans to broadcast a highlights TV show, featuring the most spectacular moments of the World Championships broadcast, to the three continents of the world. It was made possible after the cooperation agreement was signed between the FIAS and that broadcasting company in September of this year. Now spectators in many countries of the world will be able to enjoy major sambo tournaments. "Youths are our future and our hopes, perhaps, even our future Olympic champions. They are credit to SAMBO, they make it better, more beautiful and spectacular. We hope that the FIAS, in its turn, by its work in promoting SAMBO to the program of the Olympic Games, will make the Olympic dream of these boys and girls come true," says the FIAS President Vasily Shestakov about the upcoming World Championships. There is less than a month left before the start of the Championships. We all are eagerly anticipating the competition in Riga. For some it will be a challenging exam, for others - a test of their abilities, and for some others simply a long-awaited meeting with the friends. But it for everyone it will be a festival.
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