Blind athlete Elder Moreno: SAMBO helps dreams come true. FIAS

The Venezuelan athlete Elder Moreno has written his name in the history of the development of the "Blind SAMBO" discipline. In 2023, he won a gold medal at the World Combat Games, held in Saudi Arabia, where this discipline was included for the first time.

At the end of March, the FIAS Executive Committee decided to include "Blind SAMBO" in the programme of the 2024 SAMBO World Championships, which will be held in Kazakhstan in November. 

"I did not manage to achieve the result that I wanted at my first international blind SAMBO tournament - the Open Championship of Asia and Oceania - but after a while the Lord rewarded me. 

At the World Combat Games in Saudi Arabia, I became the winner in the weight category up to 79 kg among totally blind athletes. I really needed this medal and I'm happy that I was able to achieve this goal - it's incredibly important to me," said Moreno.

At international tournaments, Moreno is supported by all the athletes from America, which is very important and pleasant for him. "At the World Games I not only received support from the stands, but also congratulations from our athletes. One of the first was Maria Amyulina Guedez, who also won the women's competition. We met in Riyadh and I was very happy to see her win," he remarked.

Podium of the World Combat Games Blind SAMBO 79 kg category. FIAS
Podium of the World Combat Games Blind SAMBO 79 kg category. FIAS

"I am also always supported on social networks, many people write to me and send me audio with words of support, this is also very important to me. I would like to see SAMBO for the visually impaired develop actively in Latin America, so that we have both national and international tournaments at a high level," continued Moreno.

Now he is preparing the World Championships. "All our thoughts are on the SAMBO World Championships, because for the first time blind athletes will be represented in a tournament of this level. I think this will encourage as many athletes as possible in different countries to try their hand at SAMBO, especially if they have experience in training or competing in other martial arts," he advanced.

Moreno believes that SAMBO makes the dreams come true. "People like me also have their dreams, and one of them came true for me at the World Combat Games in Saudi Arabia. We will soon find out whether it will be repeated at the SAMBO World Championships in Kazakhstan," he concluded.