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President stars in judo DVD

St Petersburg (Russia), Dec. 22 (Reuters): Russian President Vladimir Putin, a black belt in judo, apparently has the time to contribute to a textbook on the sport in addition to running the world’s largest country.

The Kremlin leader said at the opening of a Toyota car plant in his home town of St Petersburg he had helped make a video on the sport along with a Japanese expert. “The two of us recorded a video disc for a judo textbook,” he told reporters. “I think it will go on sale in January or February.”

He thanked Japanese judoka Yasuhiro Yamasita for producing the manual in Russia, but was displeased to learn that he was to coach the Chinese team at next year’s Beijing Olympics.

“Say it’s not so! Let him come here to coach our team,” he said. “Our Chinese friends will win everything now. They have home advantage.”

Since taking office in 2000, Putin has often been filmed taking part in judo competitions and showing off his physical prowess in other disciplines — including downhill skiing. He played a key role in helping the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi secure the 2014 Winter Olympics. But judo clearly remains his passion. He said the sport had played a key role in instilling discipline throughout his life.

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