'Sambo wrestling on right track to join Olympic programme'

Indo Asian News Service

Moscow, April 1 (IANS) Efforts for the inclusion of Sambo wrestling in the Olympic Games are underway but the process would require some time, Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) president Alexander Zhukov said.

"Sambo wrestling is on a fast track of development and more countries keep joining this sport," Zhukov said on Friday, reports Tass news agency.

"More and more countries join the international competitions and the most important for us now is to join the Olympic family, however, this is not a speedy process," the ROC president added.

Sambo wrestling originated in Russia in the 1920s, when soldiers of the then Soviet Army developed their own hand-to-hand combat technique. The word Sambo is a Russian acronym, which stands for "self-defense without weapons".

In October last year, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that maximum efforts should be made to have Sambo wrestling part of the Olympic Games.

According to the All-Russia Sambo Federation a total of some 500,000 Russians are practicing Sambo, including about 230,000 children.