Anatoly Bondarenko
cdn.iz.ru The News Caravan
Anatoly Bondarenko, considered one of the greatest sambo practitioners in history and a two-time European judo champion, passed away in Moscow this weekend at the age of 77. International Sambo Federation vice president Sergey Eliseev reportedly told the Russian news agency TASS Bondarenko had been sick for some time but succumbed to the COVID-19 virus.

Bondarenko, originally a sambo competitor in the Soviet Union, was among the first generation of Soviet athletes to compete internationally in judo, successfully carrying his sambo skills over to the judo mats. He won individual gold medals at the European judo championships in 1964 and 1969 in the 80 kg division. As a sambo player he captured the Soviet national title six times between 1963 and 1973.

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