Championship Europe. Results

Competitions
12 August 2012 Sergei Grishin
Last weekend Bulgaria, the country on the Black Sea shore that occupies one fifth of the Balkan Peninsula, greeted sambo. Its capital Sofia cordially welcomed the martial arts discipline, which is well known, well understood and beloved in Bulgaria. After all, the Bulgarian Sambo School is rightfully considered to be one of the strongest in the world and Bulgarian sambo wrestlers are frequent guests at World and European podiums. For two days nearly 250 connoisseurs of "self-defense without weapons" were the guests in Sofia. The main start of the season for athletes from the Old World gathered representatives of 22 countries. Currently the FIAS is actively promoting sambo in the students' sports movement. Therefore, the organization of the European Sambo Championships in sports hall with bright and expressive title "Universiade" is all the more symbolic. After all, the leaders of international sambo are actively working on making the Universiade a fixture in the official FIAS calendar. Let us remind you that sambo has been included into the program of the 2013 World University Games in Kazan as one of optional sports. And one of the FIAS tasks at the moment is to move sambo from "optional" to "compulsory" sports categories. The organization of the European Championships in Sofia proved that sambo has tremendous potential. The organizers have put together a real festival for audience of two thousands sports fans. While waiting for fierce and colorful bouts the spectators were surprised by the high professional level of "Diva" ballet company, acrobats and the Bulgarian national ensemble "Zarnitsa". The festival of arts was followed by a sports show. The sambo floor showcased athletes from Russia and Belarus and, naturally, the event's hosts from Bulgaria. The Buglarian sambo wrestlers were in contest for leadership in combat sambo team classification. In the end their medal coffers built up by six finalists contained five silver medals and a gold in the most prestigious super-heavyweight category for Martin Marinkov. The Bulgarian super-heavyweight, despite being 1-8 down over the course of the bout, efficiently secured the victory on its second minute by executing a painful hold. The Belorussian women team, which won three gold medals, conquered the spectators by beauty and brightness of their wrestling. Tatiana Moskvina, Anastasia Arkhipova and Yulia Borisik shined on Bulgarian mats. Their stronger sex compatriots until the very last minutes of the competition challenged the leaders of international sports sambo - team Russia - for the right to be called the strongest male team in the Old World. The Belorussian team had an enormous advantage in experience of participating in international events, team Russia was mostly represented by youths. But in this contest between experience and youth it was the youngsters' team from Russia that celebrated the victory. Notably for the first time in the history of international sambo tournaments the French national anthem has been played during the award ceremony. In combat sambo 100kg weight category the representative of France Nicolas Mbog stepped up on the top of the podium. In the final he sensationally defeated Bulgaria's Ivan Stoyanov. This is, undoubtedly, the result of meticulous and serious work in development and promotion of sambo, carried out by the French Sambo Federation leadership. The outcome of the two competition days on sambo mats was the first place in team's classification for Russian male masters of sports sambo, while in women event the victory was celebrated by their Belarusian counterparts; in combat sambo no one was able to challenge the Russian athletes.