The message reads, in part:
“Judo enjoys widespread and deserved popularity in Russia and brings together a huge number of people at professional and amateur level. Our sportspeople perform with success at the biggest international competitions and championships. Their triumphs and victories are always the fruit of the long and hard work and the professional devotion of the genuine enthusiasts who teach our young people and help young sportspeople take their first steps in sport and in life.
Anatoly Rakhlin deserved to be included in the ranks of these true masters. He was an outstanding trainer and mentor, a thorough connoisseur of and expert on this ancient martial art. He raised a whole constellation of excellent judo artists, passed on his knowledge and taught them how to fight and to win.”
The first junior judo tournament in memory of Anatoly Rakhlin (1938–2013) will take place in St Petersburg. Over his career, Mr Rakhlin trained more than 100 holders of the master of sport title in judo, among them, Vladimir Putin.