Sometimes we do not expect it: finding some examples of fair play in combat sports, in which usually the respect of the beaten opponents can be easily trampled by the enthusiasm for the victory.

This has happened during the 2015 European Games of Sambo hosted in Baku, in which the magnificent gesture of sportsmanship done by Stsiapan Papou has aroused the admiration of the whole world of sport.

Sambo is a kind of martial art developed in Russia since the twenties of the twentieth century. The word “SAMBO” is an acronym for SAMozashchita Bez Oruzhiya, which literally translates as “self-defense without weapons“: it was intended to be a merger of the most effective techniques of other martial arts.

The final match of the competition set the battle between the Belarusian fighter Stsiapan Papou against Amil Gasimov from the Azerbaigian’s team, the world champion in that time and, certainly, the gold medal favourite one.  However the Belarusian athlete, against every just mentioned predictions, managed to win the match thanks to a unexpected move that  didn’t leave a chance to the Azerbaijani contender: in fact, Papou eventually forced Gasimov to tap out, ending the fight, but only after he had inflicted serious damage to his opponent’s foot not allowing him to continue to fight for the Gold Medal.

Papou, clearly delight but the just sweat victory, was going to celebrate his golden medal, but from his own side Gasimov was in agony and could not even get up so much that he could not manage to gain the center of the carpet for the final greetings.

So it is here that the imponderable took place: rather than simply enjoying his victory, Papou helped up his opponent by loading him on his shoulders,  and carried him off the mat toward the medical bay, back to the cheers of a Baku crowd composed by nearly 5,000 people.

“In the first moment I was just happy that I had won,” Papou said. “But then I saw that he didn’t get up and of course I helped him: I wanted to show him my respect. He fought very well in all his matches, he was full of energy, you could see that he wanted to win so badly. He just didn’t want to give up.

I did that because I know how much it hurts. I’ve lost that way before and I know the pain,” Papou explained, not hesitating to help Gasimov by recalling being in similar situations himself.

Gasimov, who injured his right Achilles by fighting against Papou, finally left the arena in a wheelchair and said on the other said: “We know each other well because we have met a lot of times. On the mat we are rivals, but after the bout, outside the mat we have good relations.”

“It is sport, so I think it is normal that he tried to help me to stand and carried me to the hall.” again, Gasimov.

Actually, sportsmanship gestures as the of Stsiapan Papou one are not often seen in the field of sport, especially when sport is itself  in some ways technically “violent”: for this reason we think that it is right to underline this events properly and to give them the right visibility.



#SportValues #GetVal #FirstRespect