Hand to Hand Combat celebrates premiere
The martial arts sport of Hand-to-Hand Combat is new to the World Sports Games 2023 program. It is presented with great enthusiasm at the Centro Sportivo di Bagnarolo in Cesenatico. The participation of Ukraine, Moldova and Uzbekistan is also new. Yuriy Radchenko, the president of the Ukrainian professional federation, describes his team's appearance as the fulfillment of a dream. "The CSIT World Sports Games are a symbol of peace and friendship," he says. "It is a vision that all athletes must compete against each other only in sport and not on a battlefield." He says the enthusiasm at the opening parade made him realise that his dream and the dream of his athletes have come true. "You can't create a feeling like that artificially. It's only possible in sports." Concerning the new sport, he calls the CSIT World Sports Games a "perfect showcase".
Anatoliy Voloshin is also Ukrainian and an international referee for Hand-to-Hand Combat: "I am infinitely grateful that the gigantic family of the CSIT and this incomparable international community has recognised and accepted us". But he also sees it with a touch of wistfulness: "Unfortunately, I was never able to experience this enthusiasm, this great atmosphere as an active athlete myself. Yet, at the same time, I am happy to have provided such an opportunity to my athletes and walk with them side to side."
Hand-to-Hand Combat is, first and foremost, a self-defense sport. The symbol of the federation is a hand fending off a knife. "It means we are against any kind of aggression," Voloshin explained. His athletes will do everything humanly possible to spread this message. "We definitely want our sport to be adopted by other organisations. And we very much hope that here in the Emilia Romagna region, we can make a decisive contribution to this."
8. September 2023 / WSG News