Visit to the Anatoly Rakhlin memorial youth judo tournament 2018-05-23 16:40:00 St Petersburg Vladimir Putin attended the 6th Youth Judo Tournament in memory of distinguished trainer of Russia Anatoly Rakhlin at the Yubileiny Sports Centre. The head of state watched the tournament finals and presented medals to the winners. The annual tournament dedicated to the memory of Anatoly Rakhlin (1938–2013) has been held in St Petersburg since 2013. This year, more than 300 athletes from Russia, Azerbaijan, Argentina, Armenia, Germany, Greece, Georgia, Israel, Latvia, Moldova, Mongolia, Poland, Serbia, Finland, France, and Estonia took part in the competition. Competitors were divided into nine weight classes for young men and seven for young women – lightweight under 37 kg, heavyweight over 66 kg. The date of the tournament coincides with the legendary Russian coach’s birthday. In 2018, Anatoly Rakhlin would have turned 80. * * * Speech at the awards ceremony for the tournament winners and runners-up President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Friends, athletes, tournament participants, guests, I welcome you with all my heart. Congratulations to the participants and winners of this tournament. This is the sixth tournament in memory of a remarkable person and a wonderful coach, Anatoly Rakhlin. Thanks to the efforts of people like him and his allies, mass participation in sports in our country has been progressing successfully, because Anatoly Rakhlin and all the people like him have been training girls and boys for decades on end, and helping promote sports in our country. Thanks to their efforts, such a wonderful sport as judo is gaining popularity as well. Mr Rakhlin always taught us to focus on the goal, to only move forward, overcome difficulties, and be friendly and respectful toward opponents. On that note, I would like to welcome all our foreign guests. Young athletes from 12 countries took part in this competition. Thank you very much for coming and participating. Thanks to the efforts of coaches and organisers, judo in Russia is making great strides. You are all aware of our athletes’ remarkable results in high-performance sports. They are wonderful people and remarkable athletes who will always be a good role model for rising athletes. I am confident that many of those who are participating today in this junior tournament will make themselves known in the coming years during major international competitions and will win the most prestigious competitions. I wish you every success. Thank you.