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SAMBO is born following recognition as an official sport by the USSR All-Union Sports Committee. It is often initially referred to as “freestyle wrestling” with the abbreviation not catching on straight away.

1938

The first-ever SAMBO tournament takes place at the Red Star Stadium in Leningrad, the former name of Russian city Saint Petersburg.

1939

SAMBO officially receives it present name. The USSR SAMBO Federation is founded.

1947

Renowned wrestlers Genrikh Schultz and Alfred Karashchuk make a demonstration of SAMBO at the prestigious World Exposition in Brussels in Belgium.

1956

A friendly match between Hungarian and Soviet athletes takes place in the “Dynamo” stadium (Moscow, USSR).

1957

A SAMBO Association is established in Japan.

1963

The International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles (FILA) officially recognises SAMBO as the third style of international wrestling and commits to regular international competitions.

1966

The first international tournament takes place in Latvia’s capital Riga with Bulgaria, Japan, Mongolia, the USSR and Yugoslavia all represented.

1967

The first European Open SAMBO Championship takes place in Riga as athletes from eight countries participate.

1972

The first SAMBO World Championship takes place in Iran’s capital Tehran, where athletes from 11 countries compete.

1973

The first SAMBO World Cup is held in Oviedo (Spain).

1977

Junior World Championships are held alongside the adult equivalent for the first time in Madrid (Spain).

1979

Youth sambo is demonstrated during the Opening Ceremony of the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow.

1980

Women’s World Championships are held for the first time in Madrid (Spain).

1983

The FILA Assembly decides to establish an independent International SAMBO Federation (FIAS). Spaniard Fernando Kompte is elected President.

1984

FIAS splits into two organisations, both of which use the same name and logo. The two groups were often referred to as FIAS "East", under Russian control, and FIAS "West", under United States and Western European control.

1993

FILA reaches an agreement with FIAS "West" and re-assumes sanctioning over SAMBO.

2005

The World Championships in Prague attract 332 athletes from 43 countries, highlighting SAMBO’s growing appeal across the globe.

2007

FILA again discontinues sanctioning sambo.

2008

SAMBO features on the programme of the inaugural SportAccord World Combat Games in Beijing.

2010

SAMBO features on the programme of the 2013 Summer Universiade in Russian city Kazan.

2013

FIAS and FILA sign a cooperative agreement. FIAS also signs a Memorandum of Understanding with the International Judo Federation, which sees the two organisations working closely together to develop their work in integrity, media and marketing. SAMBO is officially recognised by the Olympic Council of Asia for the first time and makes its Asian Beach Games debut in Phuket. Sambo star Gulbadam Bahamuratova of Turkmenistan wins the first gold medal of the Games. FIAS President Vasily Shestakov makes it clear that the sport is now targeting recognition by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). English county Kent hosts the first-ever SAMBO President’s Cup.

2014

SAMBO features on the programme of the inaugural European Games in Azerbaijan’s capital Baku having been added the previous year. FIAS signs a cooperation agreement with the “Centre for the Study and Conservation of the Amur Tiger”.

2015

IOC overlooks SAMBO for recognition at its Session prior to the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. The sport again misses out at the IOC Executive Board meeting in December. SAMBO features on the programme of the Asian Beach Games in Vietnamese city Danang. The 40th edition of the SAMBO World Championships is held in Bulgaria’s capital Sofia.

2016