Jovany Varela Honduran National Sambo Championships held in Tegucigalpa. FIAS

The third national Sambo Championships of Honduras, named after Jovany Varela, were held on 6 April in the Olympic village in Tegucigalpa. Competitions for men and women took place in sport and combat sambo. It was the largest national championship in the history Honduran Sambo with 122 athletes from four cities taking part.

The event was attended by Honduran Olympic Committee Secretary General Ubaldo Zavala and Eliseo Romero, president of the Pan American Sambo Union (UPASA). They witnessed the success of the Honduras Sambo Federation (FEDEHSAMBO), led by its President Jorge Miselem.

According to tournament organisers, one of the most emotional moments of the championship was the honouring of Honduran sambo icon Varela. One of the founders of sambo in Honduras, Varela conducted his first training session on 21 July 1995 and has devoted three decades of his life to the development and promotion of the sport. Today, the former MMA fighter is the technical director of the local federation.

122 athletes from four cities took part in the competition. FIAS
122 athletes from four cities took part in the competition. FIAS

Miselem, a former Pan American champion in combat sambo and student of Varela, noted the enormous influence and leadership of his mentor as well as his contribution to the personal and professional growth of many athletes.

He also expressed his gratitude to Romero for his constant support of Honduran sambo. Romero, in turn, appreciated the work done by Miselem and his team.

“Today’s event demonstrates clear growth in the development of Honduran sambo," said Romero. "More than a hundred sambo practitioners took part in the competition, and Honduras can already boast of winners of the Pan American Championships. I am glad to see that sambo in Honduras does not stand still, and the athletes are showing good results."

Miselem concluded, "This championship was not only a sporting event, but also a tribute to the dedication and commitment of those who contributed to the development of sambo in Honduras and continue to do everything for the benefit of this sport. The event marked an important milestone in the history of sambo in the country, which tells us about the promising future of this discipline at the national and international levels."