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Greco-Roman Wrestling

The 5th International 'Yaroshenko' Greco-Roman Wrestling Tournament was held at Belgorod State University's Khorkina Sports Centre, and involved 250 athletes from across the Russian speaking world

The competition was timed to coincide with VE Day. The opening ceremony was graced with some notable figures and fans of the sport, chief among whom was triple Olympic gold medallist and Duma Deputy, Alexander Karelin. He had some choice words for the participants about persistence and discipline, and he hoped that the coaches would see a reward for their efforts. He remarked on the rapid expansion of the tournament.

Then Professor Oleg Polukhin, Rector of the University, explained the reasons for our hosting of the tournament, saying that our University's sporting pedigree lends itself to this kind of event. He said that our University has produced many Olympic and International athletes, and that Greco-Roman Wrestling, if successfully developed, could add to this tally. He wished the athletes good luck.

After a few enthusiastic words from Sergei Fuglayev, a Regional Union leader, and Chairman of the Regional Paralympian Association, our Region's senior cleric spoke. Metropolitan Ioann of Belgorod and Stary Oskol, stressed the symbolism of the journey that brought these athletes to this place, as a victory of love and kindness over death. He talked about an absence of cheating bringing glory to Russia, citing the C13th Prince Alexander Nevsky's alleged assertion that God is not strength, but truth.

 Translated by I P Turner, Centre for Foreign Language and Academic Writing

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