The Commonwealth SAMBO Association together with FIAS held the President’s Cup, in The Seven Towers Leisure Centre, Ballymena, Northern Ireland. The event proved a great success with almost seventy athletes from 9 countries competing for medals.
Teams from Russia, the Netherlands, England, USA/Canada, France, Cameroon and Trinidad & Tobago participated in team and individual competitions in different weight categories.
Vasily Shestakov, FIAS President, Councillor Lindsay Millar, Mayor of Ballymena and Michael Wynne-Parker, Commonwealth SAMBO President presented The NI President’s Cup to the Russian team who were delighted to retain the title for the fifth consecutive time. They were joined on the winners’ podium by USA and Canada in second place and Cameroon and Northern Ireland joint third.
At the event Vasily Shestakov, President, International Sambo Federation, said the FIAS was overwhelmed by the reception they received and the warmth of the hospitality in Northern Ireland.
Mr Shestakov said: “Sambo is a people sport and, while this was the first time to hold the tournament in Northern Ireland, it couldn’t have gone any better. The weekend was a resounding success.”
Michael Wynne-Parker, President, Commonwealth Sambo Association, said: “The competitions provided the appreciative audience with valuable insight into what Sambo is all about.
“Combat without weapons is all about fitness, technique and timing and we saw all of those attributes expertly displayed in Ballymena.”
For the first time, Northern Ireland fielded a team and their coach, Karl St John, said: “We were thrilled to secure a team bronze and to feature on the winner’s podium on our first outing. The experience was invaluable.
“We will now work on spreading the popularity of the sport and hopefully developing a network of new Sambo clubs.”