The European Sambo Championships is set to start in Limassol later this month ©FIAS

This year's European Sambo Championships and European Youth and Junior Sambo Championships are set to welcome athletes from 28 countries later this month in the Cypriot city Limassol.

Scheduled to take place from May 26 to 29, the Championships return this year after they were cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Gijón in Spain last held the tournament in 2019.

Russian energy company Rosneft will be the sponsors of the 2021 Championships.

Athletes from Austria, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Bulgaria, Hungary, Germany, Greece, Georgia, Israel, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, North Macedonia, Moldova, The Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Romania, Serbia, Ukraine, France, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia and Switzerland are all set to compete this year.

"Sambo is gaining more and more popularity outside of Russia, and these competitions promise to present the audience with many spectacular fights between the strongest sambo wrestlers in the world," said a European Sambo Federation statement.

"Athletes in sambo among men and women, as well as boys and girls at under-18 and juniors at under-20 will compete on the mats.

"Today, athletes from Georgia, Belarus, Ukraine and France are clearly competing with the favourites - Russia - in Europe."

Russia is expected to top the European Sambo Championships medal table again ©Getty Images
Russia is expected to top the European Sambo Championships medal table again ©Getty Images

Russia won 16 of the 27 gold medals on offer at the 2019 Championships, winning a medal in 22 events.

Ukraine and Georgia won four and three gold medals respectively.

There will be seven weight categories each in the men's, women's and combat sambo categories at the Championships.

Weight categories have been revised, bringing the total number in the senior competition down from 27 to 21.

There will be eight categories each in the men's and women's youth competition and seven of both in the junior Championships.