Germany's Julie-Marie Horn won the European stage of the Rosneft Online Sambo Cup ©FIAS

Germany's Julie-Marie Horn triumphed as the International Sambo Federation (FIAS) held the opening stage of its new online tournament for athletes from Europe.

Known as the Online Sambo Cup, the event has the goal of promoting the Russian martial art across the world while filling the void left by the coronavirus pandemic.

It takes the form of an online quiz, with athletes challenged on their knowledge of sambo techniques.

This includes participants having to guess the name of sambo moves which are concealed behind special blocks on a playing board.

Players may also need to demonstrate their physical fitness through a series of exercises. 

Eighteen athletes took part in the European event in a straight knock-out format, with Horn defeating Spain's Adrian Labrado in the final.

She has been rewarded with a cash prize of $500 (£400/€450) from FIAS sponsor Rosneft Oil.

"To me, participation in this tournament has become a new, fascinating and unusual experience," said Horn.

"On my way to the finals, I succeeded to outstrip athletes from Armenia, Cyprus and Moldova. 

"I think that in the final match against the Spanish athlete I was very lucky, as I opened a card that was concealing a significant technique.

"I decided to take a chance and guessed right.

Eighteen sambists took part in the competition  ©FIAS
Eighteen sambists took part in the competition ©FIAS

"Now I experience emotions that are very untypical for myself, as the win in the online sambo tournament, albeit somewhat different from the win on the mat, is still pretty dear, because my opponents were strong enough. 

"And, needless to say, the prize is important, too.

"In preparation for these competitions, I paid a great deal of attention to the nuances of sambo techniques, and studied the location of the knees, elbows and feet as they are depicted on various figures. 

"I believe it was the knowledge of these details that helped me win."

The competition will now continue with an events on June 27 in Africa, July 4 and 5 in Asia and July 11 and 12 in the Americas.

Super finals for the best players from across the continents will be held on July 18.

"The Super Cup that will bring together the finalists from all over the world is still ahead," Horn added. 

"I'm going to prepare for it even more zealously, as the class of the participants is expected to be high. 

"Also, it is important to choose the right strategy."

Fans are able to watch the online event on the FIAS website and their YouTube page.