International Sambo Federation (FIAS) President Vasily Shestakov has said it will be "difficult" for the sport to gain a spot on the Olympic programme, but that chances to achieve that goal still remain.
The 65-year-old was speaking at a press conference organised by the Russian state news agency TASS following the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) recent decision to grant FIAS provisional recognition.
"Today, Sambo wrestling is a sustainable sport," he said.
"The [previous Sambo] World Championship was broadcast live in 20 countries, 40 more countries broadcast the recordings, and the Championship attracted a television audience of over one million viewers."
Meanwhile the finals of the most recent World Championship in Romania in November, were broadcast live on the Olympic Channel, which Shestakov said “proves” the sport is interesting and “in high demand”.
"It will be difficult to enter the Olympic programme, but sambo still has its chances as it is a very spectacular sport," he added.
"We will continue working on the improvements and developments in the international organisation as well as in National Federations.
"We have met in advance all of the requirements on behalf of the IOC to be recognised."