• Sem VAN DUN: "I dream of performing at the Olympic Games"

Sem VAN DUN: "I dream of performing at the Olympic Games"

12 October 2021 Aleksandr Solomahin
Sem VAN DUN: "I dream of performing at the Olympic Games"

Dutch athlete Sem Van Dun won a bronze medal at the International Tournament for the prizes of the President of Tatarstan in the weight category up to 65 kg among women. In an interview for the FIAS website, the sambist told why her medal is an achievement of the entire team, who brought her to SAMBO and what is her goal for the next few years.

Sem, how do you feel about the bronze medal of this tournament?

- I am very happy, this is my first medal at international SAMBO competitions! I don’t have enough words to describe how happy I am! But this is not only my medal, this is a medal for our entire team. During the preliminary fights, my teammate Mistral Janssen, who was my coach at the tournament, was injured and had to go to the hospital. I had to perform without his support. I was able to win a medal for the team and prove that the Dutch Sambo Federation is showing constant progress.

Was this competition your debut?

- No, I have already participated in international tournaments. On the eve of the quarantine in 2020, I managed to perform at the international tournament in Minsk (Belarus), but then I did not really understand the rules. This year I tried my hand at the European Championships in Cyprus, but it was also not entirely successful. And now in Kazan I was able to climb the pedestal.


How did you come to SAMBO?

- It was Mistral Janssen who told me about SAMBO. We went in for judo together, and one day a coach invited him to go in for SAMBO. After a while, Mistral told me about this single combat, and I immediately liked SAMBO very much. I enjoy the fact that a variety of techniques are allowed in SAMBO, including painful techniques on the legs, and in general there is more freedom than in other martial arts.

In July, FIAS received full recognition from the International Olympic Committee and in the near future SAMBO may be included in the program of the Olympic Games...

- I hope this will happen as soon as possible. I dream of competing in the Olympic Games and I will be happy if I can represent the Netherlands in SAMBO competitions.

The situation with the coronavirus in the world remains difficult. Do athletes in the Netherlands have the opportunity to fully train?

- We can train at the national center only once a week. We get together in very small groups to work on the technique. The rest of the time we devote to strength training at home or in fitness centers. Unfortunately, SAMBO is not very well known in our country yet, but I hope my medal is the right step towards popularizing SAMBO in the Netherlands. People will be able to learn more about this martial arts, try to do it out of interest or just for a change, and some of them will certainly choose SAMBO as their main sport.

What do you do besides sports?

- I am a student, getting a business education. This is my last university year. Hopefully when I get a job in the future, my boss will let me go to the competition.

What sports plans do you have for the very near future?

- World SAMBO Championships. I joined the national team and will try to prove myself in Uzbekistan. For the next few years, I want to qualify for the European Games. And then, if everything goes as it should, perhaps the sambists will start fighting for tickets to the Olympic Games. And I plan to participate in this fight.

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