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Sambo at Luzhniki

Text: Vitaly Salnikov.

Between 26 - 29 March 2015 in Moscow Universal Sports Hall Druzhba the 35th Sambo World Cup Anatoly Kharlampiev Memorial was convened. The tournament gathered more than 200 sportsmen from 35 countries of the world, which competed for medals in male and female sections of Sambo as well as in martial Sambo. Along with the sportsmen, who traditionally arrive to such competitions, representatives of Nepal, Peru and Cameroon have newly joined the tournament.

The framework of the competition prescribed three days of the competitions including three weight categories in each section daily. Besides, a two day referee seminar was convened on the premises of the education centre Sambo-70, where referees from eighteen countries studied the nuances of the new rules. On its completion, every participant had to sit an exam and was awarded a license giving them permission to take part in the international Sambo events.

There was another innovation which was tested after the competition an international training camp. The point of this activity was that it provided the opportunity for the sportsmen from the countries where Sambo is underdeveloped, to train with their colleagues from stronger team. It is no secret that Sambo wrestlers from various countries come to compete in just one, maximum two bouts. In the training camp during two days they convened thirty bouts with different kinds of opponents, including World and European champions.

All in all, this year competition was full of new things. The World Cup is now convened in a new format (there is just one tournament), the international calendar was re-adjusted, and requirements to international competitions were changed as well. Time will tell whether some things work well or not, however, the first impressions have been very positive. 

A little bit of more detail about the innovations.

1. One sportsman from each country per weight category was admitted to the Kharlampiev Memorial, similarly to the World and European championships. Restriction on a number of sportsmen from Russia provided the opportunity for other sportsmen and teams to win more medals.

2. In the recent years, the World Cul included a number of legs, where a sportsman was awarded rating points for each tournament. This year the Kharlampiev Memorial is a separate tournament with a status of the World Cup.

3. Firstly, the selection of sportsmen to the Kharlampiev Memorial was carried out on the basis of the Russian Cup tournament. As a result, the Russian Cup tournament status has become more important.

4. Television covering of the event and its on-line streaming were accompanied by a professional commentary.

And, a fly in the ointment: a small (less than 10) number of participants in the weight categories.


In the first day, the Russians won five golden medals out of nine. At the outset, in the 48 kg weight category a Russian female Sambo wrestler Elena Bondareva competed with her rival from Moldova Tatyana Osojanu. The Russian sportswoman was not successful in the national championship by winning only the third prize and therefore could not compete in major tournaments of the year. As a result, she was more than determined. She only required 42 seconds to win: a hip throw, transition to the ground, transition to a hold down. Tatyana tried to withdraw, but was caught in the arm bar.

A Russian sportsman Eugeny Sukhomlinov (68 kg) won with a small advantage 1:0 won his bout against an Azerbaijan sportsman Emil Khasanov, and his colleague Vadim Shagin (68 kg) in the martial Sambo overcame Mekan Nurdzhikov from Turkmenia by a hold-down and two spring hip throws. Irina Alexeyeva (72 kg) was stronger than a Georgian sportswoman Nino Odzelashvili, and a martial Sambo fighter Ikram Aliskerov (90 kg) won his bout against the Southern Korea representative Jung Chan-Sung.

Golden medals in other finals were awarded to the sportsmen from the Commonwealth of Independent States. Thus, in the dramatic bout in the sports Sambo Victor Osipenko (90 kg) lost one point to an Armenian Sambo wrestler Ashot Danielian. A light weight wrestler Beimbet Kanzhanov (52 kg) from Kazakhstan won a bout against Nasimi Umbayev (Azerbaijan) (3:0), a Turkmenian martial Sambo fighter Novruz Atayev (52 kg) overcame an Uzbek fighter Rakhmatzhon Akhmedov by strangulating hold, and Katerina Prokopenko (Belarus, 60 kg) overcame her opponent from Georgia Shorena Sharadze (4:0). 

Sambo is marching on the planet

During the second day of the competitions, the graduate of the Sambo-70 school Sayan Khertek (57 kg) managed to snatch the gold from the three time World champion Erbolat Baybatyrov (Kazakhstan). Two weeks before the Kharlampiev Memorial Sayan competed at the Russian championship and came second. The World Cup result confirmed his high level of preparation this season. In other weight categories in sports Sambo, Russian male sportsmen did not get any places.

In martial Sambo, Russians took part in three finals, and in the two of them they became champions. And in the 57 kg weight category, Kazbek Supygaliev (Kazakhstan) was stronger than our Mukhtar Gamzayev. The female sportsmen showed the same result. Olga Medvedeva ad Natalya Kazantseva became champions, and Maria Molchanova could not overcome the talented Gulbadam Babamuratova from Turkmenistan.

And certainly so Sambo is marching on the planet. Bronze medal in the 64 kg weight was awarded to the female representative of Cameroon Phopa Bibiene Makuete. 

Tough victories

The last day of the competitions was the triumph of Moscow Sambo. In the 56 weight kg Anastasia Valova defeated her Kazakhstan rival Almagul Urangalieva. Having performed leg scissors, and then she transferred to the knee grapevine, having made her opponent to give in prematurely. Victoria Stankevich (68 kg) overcame resistance of the Byelorussian sportswoman Olga Namazova. Uzair Labazanov (62 kg) by having made a throw and two knock-downs won the golden medal in his opponent Sherzodbeck Rasulov from Uzbekistan.

The heavy weight categories bore an interesting intrigue. Noone could predict the outcome of the bout between the Japanese wrestler Kharuki Murase and an American sportswoman Nina Kutro-Kelly (80+). Twenty seconds after the start Kharuki carried out an effective leg pick-up, being awarded two points, and half a minute afterwards tried to repeat the trick, yet Nina managed to escape and transferred to the ground to perform the elbow grapevine. The USA sportswoman won, although both sportswomen should be congratulated.

In the male final in the heavy weight category the bout was convened between the three time World champion Artyom Osipenko and a Georgian athlete Beka Berzenishvili. Artyom was more active at the start of the bout, so Beka was booked twice and Artyom scored one point. However, Osipenko's attention got a little bit distracted, and Berzenishvili managed to carry out an attack by a spring hip throw awarded at two points. Two minutes Osipenko was actively seeking his key to his opponent's tactics, and then he carried out an outstanding trick borrowed from the free-style wrestling inventory a backward bending throw. As soon as the hold-down was performed, there was no more questions regarding the winner.

In the heavy weight, only three sportsmen subscribed in the martial section. A sporstman from Moldova Grigory Postitsa got into the final after drawing the lots, where he met the South Korean Sanas Li who was stronger than the Russian Denis Polekhin. Grigory is fourty four years old, however he was motivated to win. After the whistle to start the bout, Postitsa carried out a full turn kick and if the kick was a successful one, he could have won the bout prematurely. However, it was the Korean sporstman who won, and Grigory was awarded with the audience applause for his outstanding performance.

All in all, the Russians won fifteen golden, four silver and three bronze medals, having one the team competition in all the sections. The female wrestlers were the best: six golden, two silver and one bronze medals. Male team showed a more modest result: four golden medals (sports section), and five golden medals in the martial section. The South Korean martial Sambo fighters were awarded one golden and one silver medal. The sports event was convened at the highest international level.

Female section

48 Elena Bondareva (Russia)
52 Gulbadam Babamuratova (Turkmenistan)
56 Anastasia Valova (Russia)
60 Katerina Prokopenko (Belarus)
64 Olga Medvedeva (Russia)
68 Victoria Stankevich (Russia)
72 Irina Alexeyeva (Russia)
80 Natalya Kazantseva (Russia)
80+ Nina Kutro-Kelly (USA)

Male Section

52 Beimbet Kanzhanov (Kazakhstan)
57 Sayan Khertek (Russia)
62 Kushkadam Khusranov (Tadjikistan)
68 Eugeny Sukhomlinov (Russia)
74 Amil Gasimov (Azerbaijan)
82 Sergey Kiryukhin (Russia)
90 Ashot Danielian (Armenia)
100 David Loriashvili (Georgia)
100+ Artyom Osipenko (Russia)

Martial section

52 Novruz Atayev (Turkmenistan)
57 Kazbek Supygaliyev (Kazakhstan)
62 Uzair Labazanov (Russia)
68 Vadim Shagin (Russia)
74 Bajzet Khatkhokhu (Russia)
82 Sergey Filomenko (Belorussia)
90 Ikram Aliskerov (Russia)
100 Islam Abazov (Russia)
100+ Li Sanasu (Korea)

3 (74) 2015
Magazine 3 (74) 2015

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