Last Saturday on the 24th of September 4 members of the USA Sambo Team stepped on the mats in Edinburgh at Scotland’s prestigious President’s Cup. The President’s Cup is a unique Sambo tournament previously held in the UK which features Sambo athletes representing 22 countries from around the world. One portion of the tournament was a team Sambo sports style grappling event featuring teams of 5 men and 2 women which all competed against each other. In this event the US didn’t have any athletes participate and the Russian team unsurprisingly was victorious earning the President’s Cup. However, in the Combat Sambo portion which was the main event of the competition, out of the 4 weight classes which made up the event the United States finished with 2 gold medals and 2 bronze finishes which trumped the other countries participating leaving the Americans the stars of the show. Bristol’s Patrick Sabatini and Neshaminy’s Evan Chmieleski put on amazing performances finishing the competition undefeated with gold medals while Johnson Jajoute and Langhorne’s Erik Purcell drew 2 top 3 World Championship finishers and ended up with bronze medals in their efforts. Patrick Sabatini was also named most exciting competitor of the event and given a special plaque and gifts from the owner of M1 Global which is one of the largest mixed martial arts promotions in the world. Erik Purcell also did double duty coaching the 3 athletes while competing himself. USA Sambo head coach Mikhail Kozitskiy also made the trip to oversee the athletes preparation and provide valuable coaching to all of the athletes. top left – Evan Chmieleski, bottom left – Patrick Sabatini, top right – Johnson Jajoute, bottom right – Erik Purcell.
All 4 athletes compete and train out of Bucks County’s MPR Endurance which is an MMA, Kickboxing, Sambo training facility in Langhorne PA. MPR is cultivating a number of top athletes and samboists which will be and have been competing around the globe over the past few years.
In attendance at the event and at the press conference was Her Royal Highness Princess Katarina of Whales. Her Highness spent a generous amount of the time meeting with the US Team and presenting the medals at the President’s Cup. As you can imagine this was the first time the Americans met royalty. Overall the American athletes fought their hearts out earning the respect of everyone in attendance.