World Masters Sambo Championships
Prague October 25th, 26th 2010
Once again the World Masters returned to Prague and well received it was to. FIAS intend to use countries which are at the far end of the World making it very expensive to participate, Prague is much more central had a decent hotel and decent venue and apart from the weigh in was very well organised. More than 200 athletes from 16 countries competed in this event. There were many legendary figures for the World of Sambo among the participants. FIAS has today a systematic approach to hold competitions of different level among masters, considering the issue to develop the Veteran Sambo as one of the most important aspects of its calendar. Two days before the Masters a World Student Championships and European Union Championships were held.
The British contingent consisted of Martin Clarke BSF President, Russell Dodds, Darren Richardson and Leigh Till.
First out was Russell Dodds competing in the Cat 2 u82 kilo, his first fight was against the eventual winner Volodymir Sushenko Ukraine the next was against another Ukrainian Igor Kamyshan for Bronze medal. Although he lost both fights he did not disgrace himself he fought hard and there has been a massive improvement in his fighting performance if he keeps at it he will eventually gets a medal. He had 9 in his weight.
Leigh Till Cat 2 u100k His first fight was against Gennady Golishnikov Russia, this was a great fight and went the whole distance both had a 1 point score but Leigh got the nod because made more positive attacks; in Sambo a referee signals an attack with a clenched fist. Great win it has been a few years since a Brit beat a Russian. With only 4 in his weight Leigh made the finals, this was against Todor Todorov Bulgaria, again another hard fight going the distance but sadly Leigh lost 6 points to Nil but well earned Silver and a great performance.
Darrin Richardson Cat 1 100 kilo plus, with only two in his weight Darrin was guaranteed a medal some may say it was a lucky draw but he turned up and was prepared to fight anyone and in the older classes there was a lot of walk over. His opponent was Muslim Undaganov Kazakhstan a small but very heavy powerful man, he managed to throw Darrin and hold him down for an 8 score after standing both gripped up and he scored a rather debatable 4 points again to secure a 12 pt win after looking at the video I have doubts is was a 4, anyway another silver medal for GB.
Hendrik-Jan Ningbers IBF President Holland/Dutch Sambo Federation was present and was one of the Guest of Honour along with Martin Clarke and presented medals. Dutch had their first World Gold medal in many years with Nico Herbert who won the Gold in style winning several matches a great honour for all the IBF Countries.
With so many age categories which are then sub divided into weights there are many sections with only a few competitors in fact some with only one entry but this does not detract from the event. This competition and the EU Cup are events we in GB should concentrate on as we have a chance of winning medals something we a long way away from in the World Championships. The World Senior Championships is spectacular event and when the event is an affordable distance it is worth encouraging fighters to participate for the experience as they have to pay their own way you can not expect them to pay a cost of a holiday just to have one fight, with the Masters and EU Cup the medals are possible this an encouragement for Samboists to enter. To this end the BSF will have a Training session in February designed for Master players if they want to be considered for the World Masters they have to attend the training session in Sittingbourne which will be free of charge and open to all age groups.
There is one thing that disappoints me is the elimination system they use in FIAS it is Knockout with repechage, this is you lose to the two finalist you play of for Bronze so you can travel thousands of miles for one fight. A fairer way would if there is 5 or less in a group you use a round robin, 6 or more pools of three, top two into a knockout where every loser moves down to a knockout for Bronze, yes it would take longer but if you travel a great distance you are most probably at the event for 5 to 7 days.
One last thought one Russian competitor was 80
Russell Dodds GB, Leigh Till GB, Darrin Richardson GB, Michael USA, Sandy North USA, Nico Herbert Holland