Wrong anthem greets Russian wrestler at World meet

Los Angeles, Sep 9 (IANS) The second day of the ongoing World Wrestling Championships here witnessed a major faux pas when the wrong national anthem was played for Russian grappler Roman Vlasov.

Vlasov, a Greco-Roman wrestler, had emerged champion in the 74kg category after defeating Mark Madsen of Denmark in the final on Tuesday.

But when he climbed onto the podium, he was greeted by Mikhail Glinka’s ‘Patrioticheskaya Pesnya’ (Patriotic Song) which was briefly used as the Russian anthem during the 1990s before Vladimir Putin’s administration reinstated the current antem at the turn of the millennium.

The organisers realised their mistake 49 seconds into the song and played the actual version after Vlasov refused to come down from the podium until he heard the correct anthem.

“I didn’t immediately realise what anthem was playing. But when the music stopped, I told the organisers I wouldn’t budge from the spot until I heard the real Russian anthem,” Vlasov was quoted as saying by Russia Today.

“I do not know what anthem was played, and at first did not even pay any attention to it. But after a while, I realised that this was not our anthem.

“When this foreign anthem ended and some fuss started, I said that I would not come down from the pedestal until the Russian anthem is played. It is for that moment on the pedestal that we toil all year, and they play some other anthem at the award ceremony for some reason,” he added.

“We bust our backs all year round for this moment. I would have stood there until my legs gave out!”

This is the second world title for Vlasov who had also won gold at at the 2011 World Championships in Istanbul. He also won gold at the London Olympics in 2012 in the 74kg category apart from consecutive European titles in 2012 and 2013.

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