Athletes from 29 countries are set to compete at the 2019 European Sambo Championships, which begin in the Spanish city Gijón tomorrow.
All the action from the three-day event at Palacio de Deportes de Gijón will be broadcast live on the International Sambo Federation website.
The opening day will see medals awarded in nine categories, comprising the men’s 52 kilograms, 68kg and 90kg, the women’s 48kg, 60kg and 72kg, and combat sambo’s 57kg, 74kg and 100kg.
Taking centre stage on Saturday (May 18) will be the men’s 57kg, 74kg and 100kg, the women’s 52kg, 64kg and 80kg, and combat sambo’s 62kg, 82kg and over-100kg.
Rounding out proceedings on Sunday (May 19) will be the men’s 62kg, 82kg and over-100kg, the women’s 56kg, 68kg and over-80kg, and combat sambo’s 52kg, 68kg and 90kg.
Last year’s European Sambo Championships were held in Greece’s capital Athens, where Russia claimed 12 of the 27 gold medals on offer.
Russia is very much the dominant force in sambo, which originated in the Soviet Union in the 1920s when soldiers of the then-Soviet Army developed their own hand-to-hand combat technique.
Sport sambo is similar to judo, but with some variations in rules, protocol and uniform, while combat sambo resembles modern mixed martial arts.
It includes extensive forms of striking and grappling, and is for men only.