Burkina Faso concludes first-ever Vladimir Putin International Sambo Martial Arts Tournament


(MENAFN) In a historic event, Burkina Faso recently concluded the first-ever Vladimir Putin International Sambo Martial Arts Tournament, signaling a unique collaboration between members of the newly formed Alliance of Sahel States (AES) and Russia. Niger emerged victorious in the overall tournament, securing the top spot, with Burkina Faso following closely in second place, and Mali claiming the third position, according to reports from the Burkina Faso Information Agency.

Alira Abdoul Malick, an athlete from Burkina Faso, clinched the top spot in the 'heaviest' category, triumphing over competitors from Mali, Niger, and Russia. Mali's Drissa Traore secured the second position, while Russia's Muhammad Aliev took home the third-place prize. The sport of Sambo, a Russian acronym for self-defense without weapons, combines elements of judo, boxing, and wrestling. Originating in the Soviet Union, Sambo has gained international recognition and was introduced to Burkina Faso in 2021, quickly gaining popularity throughout the Sahel region.

The tournament, organized by the Burkinabe Sambo Sports Association (ASBS) in collaboration with the 'African Initiative' association, featured 27 athletes from Ouagadougou, nine each from Bamako and Niamey, and two from Moscow. Dapla Palenfo, the president of the ASBS, revealed that the competition was named after Russian President Vladimir Putin not only to boost its popularity but also to foster cooperation between AES members and Russia.

"We wanted to put the name of the competition under the name of the Russian president. This will bring the two peoples and even the Russian people closer to other AES states," explained Palenfo, emphasizing the broader diplomatic and cultural objectives behind the tournament.

Last December, ASBS announced plans to establish a sambo federation aimed at organizing events, facilitating training, and developing athletic programs. The federation is set to represent Burkina Faso in international competitions, marking a significant step in putting the West African country on the global Sambo map. The success of the inaugural Vladimir Putin International Sambo Tournament not only showcases the sporting prowess of the participating nations but also underscores the potential for cultural exchange and strengthened diplomatic ties through shared interests in martial arts.

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