In 2020, Russian sambist Nikita Kletskov won his third gold medal at the World Sambo Championships. He won a tournament held amid the coronavirus pandemic in the Serbian city of Novi Sad. Exclusive for the FIAS website, Nikita talked about what he remembered for this championship, how he treats the sofa critics and whether he strove to get into the history of SAMBO.
2020 has been a very nervous year. In terms of whether there will be a World Championship or not. At first, Ashgabat refused, then there was information that Cyprus could host the tournament. As a result, the World Championships were held in Serbia.
In September, when there was an active preparation for the World SAMBO Championships, I tested positive for coronavirus. I don’t know how true it was, because I had no symptoms. But I was locked at home for 3 weeks, I was left without training and returned to training only a month before the start of the World Championships.
All together it rolled so that it was morally difficult. It was possible to switch only in recent days. When the weight cut begins, all your attention is focused only on it, and after the cut – on the competition itself. But all this was preceded by a very nervous situation, and it was psychologically difficult to tune in to the championships.
Due to the fact that not all countries managed to come, then, perhaps, in terms of the load, it was a little lighter than the previous ones, in which I happened to participate. We can say that I was also a little lucky with the draw, it was a little easier for me to pass my opponents than in the other subgroup. But psychologically, Serbia was the hardest World Championships for me.
Now there are a lot of sofa critics who are constantly dissatisfied with something. The draw is light or heavy, only a few countries have arrived… If this makes it easier for them, let them sit at home and gloat.
Our team and I came to the World Championships in Serbia and did a great job. We did a huge amount of preparation work, completed our task and are happy that we managed to win.
I did not think that in 2020, the last time at the World SAMBO Championships was a fight in my weight category. Therefore, I did not have a goal to write my name in the history of SAMBO as the last winner in this weight category. It just happened.