— Published 17 May 2023

Putin congratulates his world champions

The opportunity was too great. Two days after the end of competitions, Vladimir Putin sent his very official congratulations to the two Russian boxers crowned world champions last week in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. It was a way for the Kremlin leader to salute the performances of Sharabutdin Atayev and Muslim Gadzhimagomedov (photo above), gold medallists in the under 86 kg and under 92 kg categories respectively. But also to highlight the International Boxing Federation (IBA), the only body in the sports movement where Russian athletes are allowed to compete under their colours and flags. “Your determination, perseverance and confidence have enabled you to succeed and win the world championship title for the second time,” Vladimir Putin suggested in his congratulatory message to Muslim Gadzhimagomedov. “There is no doubt that your triumph has brought moments of genuine joy and pride to all Russians and boxing fans.” In his message to the other Russian gold medallist of the competition, Sharabutdin Atayev, Vladimir Putin highlighted a “brilliant and talented representative of the national school of boxing“, having shown in the ring “unwavering will and outstanding fighting qualities.”