"SAMBO for the Blind" on the programme for the 2024 World Championships. FIAS

The discipline "SAMBO for the Blind" (sport class SVI1) is included in the programme of the 2024 SAMBO World Championships, which will take place from 8 to 10 November in Astana, Kazakhstan. The decision was taken by the members of the Executive Committee of the International Sambo Federation in a vote on 27th March.

"This decision has been brewing in the SAMBO community and has finally been taken. Sambists with health limitations show a great desire to compete on an equal basis with other athletes, demonstrating their steely will and fortitude," said the President of the International Sambo Federation, Vasily Shestakov. "I am sure that these people will become an example of manliness and indomitable spirit under any circumstances for sports fans all over the world," the St Petersburg native added. 

Blind SAMBO competitions (sporting class SVI1 - totally blind) in the 2024 World Championships programme will be held in three weight categories for men: 64 kg, 79 kg and 98 kg. The format of holding competitions among blind and partially sighted samboists competing alongside other athletes was tested within the framework at the 2023 Asian and Oceania Championships, which was also held in Kazakhstan. 

"We have come a long way from the first small tournaments to the inclusion of our discipline in the programme of the World Sambo Championships. It is important to say that participating in the main competition of the year, together with famous sambists from all over the world, is an additional incentive for all blind athletes," emphasised  Roman Novikov, Chairman of the FIAS Commission for Athletes with Disabilities. 

"The guys will not only be able to compete for medals, but they will also be able to feel the atmosphere of the biggest tournament, meet and communicate with titled sambists, and feel that they are part of a big SAMBO family," he concluded.