• Open European SAMBO Championship among Cadets in Riga: Ready, Steady, Celebrate

Open European SAMBO Championship among Cadets in Riga: Ready, Steady, Celebrate

Competitions
14 September 2013 Sergei Grishin

September 13. Despite of the superstition for Friday the Thirteenth as bad luck, the day went just as planned, in hard work and final preparations. The agenda included arrivals, accreditation, and accommodation. Indeed, the athletes awaited training. The contestants of the day to follow were also appointed for weighting. Above all, the coaches added a draw to their list of events.

The Credentials Commission began its work at 10 am. The registration process went smoothly and steadily. The organizers admitted that the busiest time was the morning hours when the most numerous teams – ones from Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine – had arrived; then, the work proceeded at a normal relaxed pace. By the evening, the accreditation was almost completed. The results are impressive: there are 250 contestants from 15 countries of the Old World and 4 non-European countries – the US, South Korea, Kyrgyzstan, and Mongolia.

As usual, all participants receive personal accreditation cards. We talked to the representatives of the Organizing Committee in charge for taking photos and issuing the cards. It turned out that here, at the last step of the registration procedure, life is in the full swing. M?ris and Helmuts confess: “In a way, despite of the work, we would like to have a little laugh and to flirt with the sambo girls, but they are so serious, so focused on the competition… They just complete their accreditation and go… (smile). The funniest story to tell is related to Yakub Abdullaev, a coach from Armenia. The thing is that there are eight card designs, including ‘Sport’ for coaches and athletes. We had a thirty-minute talk with Yakub who was asking us to issue a special card with a ‘Coach’ tag to take it home as a souvenir from Latvia. We refused. Order is above all things.”   

We understood the meaning of the word ‘order’ later, at 9 pm Riga time, when the arrangements in the sports hall started. Two mats, a gift to Latvia from the International Sambo Federation, were laid down in the Olympic Sports Centre within a record-breaking 40 minutes. Those who have ever been involved in this process would agree that 40 minutes is not just fast, it is superfast. The secret is simple. The Latvian organizers addressed ten athletes from the Vsevolods Zelonijs School and Janis Indars, a professional freestyle wrestler, experienced coach and sports veteran. Janis Indars, who practiced sambo for two years when served in the airborne forces, explains: “Sambo is a wonderful sport. Although I have been a freestyle wrestler all of my life, sambo is a sport I respect and adore. As for laying down the mats, I’m an expert in this issue after doing it so many times. I am glad I can help the organizers. It is a pity I will not be able to watch the tournament as I am leaving to Budapest for the World Wrestling Championship. I hope that the mats that we have laid today tomorrow will become a scene for competitive and exciting battles.” 

We cannot but assure competitive and exciting battles are ahead. Check a live online broadcasting of the Championship at the FIAS website.

Live streaming starts on September 14: the day session, at 10:00 Riga time; the night session, at 17:00 Riga time. Riga time (UTC+03:00) is one hour behind Moscow time.

Natalia Yukhareva
www.sambo-fias.org