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|Pan American Sombo Championships to be held alongside U.S. Nationals in North Palm Beach, Fla., Aug. 19-20|
By Josh Henson USAW ad-hoc Sombo Committee
The 2006 Pan American Sombo Championships will be hosted by USA Wrestling at the North Palm Beach Community Center in North Palm Beach, Fla, Aug. 19-20.
This event will be held alongside the U.S. Sombo National Championships, also hosted at the North Palm Beach Community Center, Aug. 19-20.
Teams from the Pan American nations (consisting of North, Central and South America) will be invited to attend. Athletes from traditionally strong sombo nations including Canada, Brazil, Mexico and Venezuela are expected to attend.
The U.S. team will feature athletes who won the Pan American Sombo Trials, held at American Univ. in Washington, D.C. on May 6.
An international athletes and coaches technique clinic will be held in conjunction with the championships, with the clinicians to be announced at a later date.
Sombo is a style of jacket wrestling with submission holds originally developed in the former Soviet Union by synthesizing various international styles of wrestling with the various folk styles of wrestling found in the 15 different republics that made up the former Soviet Union. It was introduced into the Soviet Military as a form of unarmed self-defense for Soviet Soldiers by Stalin.
The Pan American Sombo Championships were expected to be included at the 2006 Pan American Wrestling Championships in Rio de Janiero, Brazil. The hosts in Brazil had difficulties that prevented the sombo event to be included in the competition. USA Wrestling has agreed to host the Pan American Sombo Championships alongside its U.S. Sombo National Championships.
The U.S. team will feature a number of veteran sombo athletes, along with experienced international wrestlers who have decided to compete in sombo.
There are two members of the U.S. Marine Corps wrestling team based in Quantico, Va. who qualified to compete for the United States at the Pan American Sombo Championships: Jeremy Pederson at 84 kg/185 lbs. and Frank Workman at 120 kg/264.5 lbs. Two athletes from the American University wrestling team have also qualified: Matt Morkel at 60 kg/132 lbs. and Jordan Lipp at 66 kg/145.5 lbs.
Other qualifiers for the U.S. team include Eric Albarracin of the U.S. Army at 55 kg/121 lbs., unattached Ryan Hall of Virginia at 74 kg/163 lbs. and Shawn Scott of the U.S. Sombo Association at 96 kg/211.5 lbs.
The Pan American Sombo Championships, along with the U.S. Sombo Championships, are part of a full weekend of wrestling activity in Palm Beach County. The U.S. Beach National Championships are scheduled for August 19-20 at the Hilton Singer Island Waterfront Resort in Palm Beach County, Fla. USA Wrestling will also conduct its semi-annual Board of Directors as well as its annual State Leaders Conference at the Hilton Singer Island Waterfront Resort.
The U.S. Beach National Championships, as well as the U.S. Sombo National Championships, will serve as the qualifiers for the U.S. teams that will compete at the World Beach Wrestling Championships and the World Sombo Championships, set for Antalya, Turkey, Oct. 29-30.
The Pan American Sombo Championships will be organized by the Palm Beach County Sports Commission and the Palm Beach County Sports Institute. Also participating with the local organizing committee will be the Palm Beach County Community Olympic Development Program in Wrestling and the Florida Amateur Wrestling Association.
Sombo was first recognized as an international sport when it was adopted by FILA, the international wrestling federation, in 1966. FILA promoted the sport until 1984, when it separated to become an independent sport in the mid 1980's. FILA announced the return of Sombo to international wrestling in 2005.
The first Sombo Pan American Championships were held in Mexico City in 1977. The first time the Pan American Championships were held in the United States was in 1979, when it was held in San Diego, Calif. in conjunction with the FILA World Championships.
U.S. Pan American Sombo Team qualifiers
55 kg/121 lbs. - Eric Albarracin, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army)
60 kg/132 lbs. - Matt Morkel, Washington, D.C. (American Univ.)
66 kg/145.5 lbs. - Jordan Lipp, Washington, D.C. (American Univ.)
74 kg/163 lbs. - Ryan Hall, Arlington, Va. (unattached)
84 kg/185 lbs. - Jeremy Pederson, Quantico, Va. (U.S. Marines)
96 kg/211.5 lbs. - Shaun Scott, Millersville, Pa. (U.S. Sombo Assoc.)
120 kg/264.5 lbs. - Frank Workman, Quantico, Va. (U.S. Marines)