Vasily Shestakov: FIAS is largely dependent on the global situation

The President of the International SAMBO Federation Vasily Shestakov gauged the prospects for returning to carrying out tournaments during the coronavirus pandemic.

He spoke about the peculiarities of the SAMBO athletes’ fitness maintenance during the lockdown, touched upon the new tournaments and the making of the 2021 competition calendar, in an interview to the Interfax.

– Vasily Borisovich, competitions in some sports have finally resumed after the hiatus caused by the coronavirus. What is the global situation in SAMBO?

– As an international federation, FIAS is largely dependent on the global situation and on the position of such organizations as the International Olympic Committee and the World Health Organization. There are real-life obstacles that we encounter when planning and conducting international competitions — among them, first of all, are closed borders or a two-week quarantine which all the arrivals in a particular country must pass. In a number of countries, the pandemic is coming to an end, but scientists predict the second wave of the outbreak this fall. In this situation, it is rather difficult to state anything with confidence. This year has introduced a new reality for all international sports, ant it imposes the new laws.

As to SAMBO competitions in specific countries, we are actively conducting and will keep on staging national championships. We are willing and ready to stage international real-life tournaments, but are forced to wait for the epidemiological situation to revert to normal. Meanwhile, FIAS has focused on online SAMBO tournaments. So far, we have already carried out events in Europe and Africa, this weekend the Asian Cup is to be held, the Pan-American one a week later, – and finally, the Online SAMBO Super Cup.

– Do you develop regulations for conducting tournaments in time of pandemic?

– Yes, this is a very topical issue that is under the jurisdiction of our Swiss headquarters, and just the other day we received a draft of the corresponding regulations in accordance with the requirements of the IOC and WHO. I think that in the near future we shall publish it on our official website.

– How do sambists tolerate the lockdown and how do they maintain their athletic shape, are there any special FIAS recommendations for this?

As an international federation, FIAS decided to not to stand aside and motivate athletes to engage in indoor and outdoor sports, so long as the epidemiological situation in their country permits this.

So, in late March, FIAS launched a flash mob called “Only Together We’ll Defeat The Coronavirus”. The campaign suggested that the athletes practice throws and submission holds using a special dummy with the “COVID-19” inscription on its chest and a crown drawn over its head. The flash mob was intended to raise the spirits and consolidate the community in the struggle against this global disaster. It was a pleasant surprise for me that the flash mob was supported by athletes from 89 countries the world over.

Read the full interview here.

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