Vladimir Dmitrievich Shkalov has been hailed as an "oustanding sambist" by the FIAS ©FIAS

Five-time world sambo champion Vladimir Dmitrievich Shkalov, who was a member of the International Sambo Federation (FIAS) Hall of Fame, has died at the age of 66.

The FIAS has led the tributes to Shkalov, saying he will "forever remain a legend of Soviet and world sambo".

Shkalov captured world titles in 1979, 1985, 1986, 1987 and 1988 and was crowned European champion in 1984.

During his career, Shkalov also claimed multiple titles at the USSR Sambo Championship and USSR Judo Championship.

A children’s and youth sports school in sambo and judo in Aitai and an annual judo festival in Barnaul have both been named after Shkalov.

Vladimir Dmitrievich Shkalov won world sambo titles between 1979 and 1988 ©FIAS
Vladimir Dmitrievich Shkalov won world sambo titles between 1979 and 1988 ©FIAS

"Vladimir Dmitrievich devoted his life to sports, popularisation of a healthy lifestyle among the younger generation, was and will forever remain an idol of youth, an example of a strong-willed person, for whom nothing is impossible," a statement from the FIAS read.

"The merits of Vladimir Dmitrievich in the development of sambo and other martial arts are widely known.

"It is no coincidence that a children's and youth sports school was opened in his honour in the Altai Territory, and a judo festival named after Vladimir Shkalov is held annually in Barnaul.

"The whole sambist community, lovers and connoisseurs of martial arts all over the world will forever keep the good memory of the outstanding sambist, a sincere and wonderful person."