Tajikistan skips Sambo World Championships in Kyrgyzstan, citing safety concerns

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Tajikistan has decided to skip the World Sambo Championships in the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek, following violent clashes along a disputed segment of the Tajik-Kyrgyz border in September that left dozens dead on both sides.


Citing Tajik Sambo Federation officials, Radio Liberty’s Tajik Service, known locally as Radio Ozodi, reported on November 11 that the decision was made due to safety concerns.


Nosir Bozorov, Chief Coach of national Sambo team of Tajikistan, told Asia-Plus on November 11 that they had carried out international competitions and selected wrestlers to the country’s national team for participation in the World Championships in Bishkek and prepared all necessary papers for the trip.


“But officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other relevant ministries and agencies stated that athletes’ safety is not guaranteed, therefore, we have decided to skip the championships in Bishkek,” Bozorov said.


“When the responsible authorities of the country do not guarantee athletes’ safety, we can’t risk the lives of young people for participation in competitions,” he added.


Athletes from almost 50 nations participated in the Sambo Championships that was carried out in the Kyrgyz capital from November 11 to November 13.


Medals were reportedly awarded in Sport SAMBO for men and women, as well as in Combat SAMBO for men. Winners in 21 weight categories were determined.


It is to be noted that Tajik athletes have successfully participated in various Sambo championships and have become world champions in this type of wrestling.


Sambo is a Soviet martial art and combat sport. It originated in the Russian SFSR in Soviet Union. The word “SAMBO” is a portmanteau for samozashchita bez oruzhiya, which literally translates as “self-defense without weapons.” Sambo is relatively modern, since its development began in the early 1920s by the Soviet NKVD and Red Army to improve hand-to-hand combat abilities of the servicemen. It was intended to be a merger of the most effective techniques of other martial arts.


Sport sambo is stylistically similar to old time catch wrestling and judo, and in a lot of ways influenced by them, but with some differences in rules, protocol, and uniform. More akin to catch wrestling, and in contrast with judo, sambo allows various types of leg locks, while not allowing chokeholds. It also focuses on throwing, ground work and submissions, with very few restrictions on gripping and holds.


Utilized and developed for the military, combat sambo resembles modern mixed martial arts, including forms of striking and grappling. Combat sambo allows regular punches, kicks, elbows, and knees, as well as soccer kicks, headbutts and groin strikes, in addition to throws, holds, chokes and locks, except for a standing or flying wristbar.


Source: Asia-Plus