The Mauritius National Sambo Grand Prix 2019
The Mauritius National Sambo Grand Prix 2019 was held on last month in Central Flacq under the supervision of Parsad Balkissoon, Founder-President of the Mauritius National Sambo Federation. Around 30 participants coming from Bel Air Rivière Sèche, Bramsthan, Ecroignard, Grand River South East, Grand Sable, Poste de Flacq, Quatre Sœurs and Sebastopol took part in this competition.
The gold medals were won by Rehaan Gopal, Suryaveersing Khedoo, Heshaan Gopaul, Divyum Kaseeran, Nilesh Jungy, Chandraveer Lutchmun, Shubham Ramsahye, Bhavna Goheeram and Lidesh Jungly. The competition served as a selection exercise for the upcoming World Sambo Championships scheduled to be held in Seoul, South Korea in November.
Earlier this year, Mauritius ranked 9th at the African Sambo Championships 2019 held in Casablanca, Morocco with 2 bronze medals won by Sarvesh Lutchmun and Lidesh Jungly. Sambo is a Soviet martial art and combat sport. The International Sambo Federation (FIAS – Fédération Internationale Amateur de Sambo) is the international governing body for Sambo. In November 2018, Sambo received temporary recognition by the International Olympic Committee.
There are two competitive styles of Sambo: Sport and Combat. In Sport Sambo, competitors earn points with throws, pins, takedowns, and submissions. Sport Sambo shares a lot of DNA with judo and wresting. On the other hand, Combat Sambo allows striking in addition to the throws and submissions in Sport Sambo. Combat Sambo looks a lot like MMA. MMA superstars like Fedor Emelianenko and Khabib Nurmagomedov came up as sambists. Former UFC heavyweight king Andrei Arlovski also fought Sambo before transitioning to MMA.
Sambo has been introduced by Parsad Balkissoon in 2013 and a national Federation was established in the same year. Weekly training sessions are held in Centre de Flacq and regular competitions are organized by the Federation.
* Published in print edition on 14 October 2019