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8 Sep, 2015 14:08

Americans play wrong anthem after Russia takes gold at World Wrestling Championships in Las Vegas

Americans play wrong anthem after Russia takes gold at World Wrestling Championships in Las Vegas

Mixing up anthems is a trap that many events and organizations have fallen into. The World Wrestling Championships in Las Vegas has followed suit, with the award ceremony paused mid-song, followed by an awkward version of the correct tune.

Two-time Greco-Roman wrestling world champion Roman Vlasov (2011, 2015) had to defeat two world champions en route to the finals, where he faced Danish Mark Madsen. The Russian thought all his hard work had finally paid off, and it was time to relax and bask in his glory.

But several seconds into the song he realized that something was very out of place… that’s because the song that was blasting through the speakers was actually Mikhail Glinka’s ‘Patrioticheskaya Pesnya’ (Patriotic Song) – a piece very briefly used as the Russian anthem during the tumultuous  ’90s, before Vladimir Putin’s administration reinstated the world-famous melody at the turn of the millennium.

As Vlasov stood there, dumbfounded, someone must’ve caught on to his look of surprise, because the song was finally paused. That came only at the 49-second mark, however. The champion then politely gestured to whomever was in charge to correct the mistake. According to Kommersant daily, the champ refused to come down from the pedestal until the Americans played the correct anthem.

READ MORE: Greco-Roman wrestler Vlasov wins fourth Olympic gold for Russia

“I didn’t immediately realize what anthem was playing. But when the music stopped, I told the organizers I wouldn’t budge from the spot until I heard the real Russian anthem,” he said.

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

Championships management promptly corrected the mistake, but followed it up with a rather giddy and cartoonish version of the current Russian anthem.

Only two days ago, the boss of the Russian Wrestling Federation, Mikhail Mamashvili, was denied a visa to the US. No explanation was offered.

For Vlasov, the win became the second in his career. The athlete is also an Olympic champion in the under-74kg category.