Gold, silver and wealth of bronze medal
Belarusian athletes win 17 awards at World Sambo Championship, hosted by Minsk
By Dmitry Komashko
Sanislav Kolbasov (combat sambo) and Yuri Rybak (sport sambo) took gold while silver went to Andrey Kurlypo, Dmitry Bazylev, Eduard Muravitsky, Olga Leshchenko and Olga Namazova. Ten more Belarusian athletes claimed bronze.
As expected, those from Russia took the lead in the medals rankings. Belarus was placed second, as at the World Championship in Vilnius last year, followed by Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Bulgaria. The tournament brought together around 500 athletes and was one of the most representative in sambo to date, boasting delegates from 64 states.
The head coach of Belarus’ national team, Vyacheslav Kot, notes that second place in the team standings was a good result but that they continue to aim for even more. “I think that performing at home negatively influenced our athletes,” he emphasises. “They felt extra pressure to perform well at home. This excessive anxiety made it more difficult than we expected. In addition, foreign sambo wrestlers who aren’t usually considered serious rivals significantly raised their level, which also made earning medals more challenging.”
The most surprising result was Stanislav Kolbasov’s gold in combat sambo — a first for Belarus. Most of the competitors will reappear for the next major tournament, hosted by Minsk in February 2013: a World Cup stage for prizes awarded by the President of Belarus.