The Republic of Congo's Mauve Binocha Mahongou won the African stage of the FIAS online tournament ©FIAS

The Republic of Congo's Mauve Binocha Mahongou won the African stage of the International Sambo Federation's (FIAS) online tournament.

Known as the Online Sambo Cup, the event has the goal of promoting the Russian martial art across the world while filling the void left by the coronavirus pandemic.

It takes the form of an online quiz, with athletes challenged on their knowledge of sambo techniques.

This includes participants having to guess the name of sambo moves which are concealed behind special blocks on a playing board.

Players may also need to demonstrate their physical fitness through a series of exercises. 

Eight athletes took part in the African leg, with Mahongou defeating Mohamed Camara of Ivory Coast in the final.

He has been rewarded with a cash prize of $500 (£400/€450) from FIAS sponsor Rosneft Oil.

"Over the course of several days, I was intensively preparing for the tournament, studying techniques, especially the positions of the athletes' arms, legs, grips and all that stuff," said Mahongou. 

Eight athletes competed in all ©FIAS
Eight athletes competed in all ©FIAS

"I immediately recognised the technique that was concealed behind the game cards in the final match, as I myself was using it repeatedly in training and competitions.

"I enjoyed the format of the tournament itself, it is very lively and congenial, the keep-fit exercises that sambists ought to perform during a match add a sports value to this intellectual format.

"During my first match with an athlete from Mauritius, I got a dance card. 

"I was happy to perform our national dance on camera, it is very popular with us in Brazzaville, the capital of the Congo, and throughout the whole country."

The competition will now continue with events on July 4 and 5 in Asia and July 11 and 12 in the Americas.

Super finals for the best players from across the continents will be held on July 18.

Germany's Julie-Marie Horn triumphed in the European event last month.