The message reads, in part:
“It is encouraging that the initiative to hold judo tournaments in memory of legendary trainer Anatoly Rakhlin has become a positive tradition in St Petersburg, bringing together many young fans of this sport every year from across the country. Large-scale and high-profile tournaments like this one play an important role in developing youth sports and promoting physical fitness, helping young people learn the success story of Russian judo, the value of a healthy and active lifestyle, the importance of ensuring that contests are fair and competitive. In addition, it is obvious that not only does it help youth expand their business and sports contacts, but also provides opportunities to socialise in a friendly and informal setting.
I am confident that these competitions will be very well organised, and will be an important event for participants, residents and guests of Russia’s northern capital, and that it will be remembered for its spectacular performances.”