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26 Jul, 2022 15:11

Russian wrestler falls to his death on mountain climb

Akhmed Zhiletezhev was at a training camp in Russia’s Kabardino-Balkaria Republic when tragedy struck
Russian wrestler falls to his death on mountain climb

Russian freestyle wrestler Akhmed Zhiletezhev has fallen to his death at age 19 after attempting to climb a mountain in the remote Kabardino-Balkaria Republic in the North Caucasus.

Zhiletezhev’s death was confirmed on Monday by the Emergencies Ministry after reports that a body had been found of a man who plunged into a gorge on Mount Buka-Bashi.

Zhiletezhev was a promising young wrestler who had won bronze in the 70kg category at the Russian Championships in the under-21 age group.

“He tragically died falling off the mountain, the accident occurred in the Elbrus region, where the Russian junior freestyle wrestling team is holding a training camp,” read a statement shared by TASS.

Zhiletezhev, who hailed from Argudan but competed for St. Petersburg, was climbing as part of an unregistered group alongside two other members of the training camp, according to reports.

The North Caucasus region where Zhiletezhev died is home to Europe’s highest peak, Mount Elbrus. TASS said the group of wrestlers were at an altitude of 2,500 meters (8,200ft) when Zhiletezhev fell. 

The head of the Russian Wrestling Federation, Mikhail Mamiashvili, said on Monday that two other junior wrestlers had been rescued, although their names were not released.

“Thanks to the heroic efforts of the rescuers of the Emergencies Ministry, the guys were saved, they did the impossible, they gave them a second life, huge words of gratitude,” said Mamiashvili.

The Russian wrestling official offered his condolences to Zhiletezhev’s family and said the circumstances surrounding his death would be investigated.  

“We fully share the bitterness of the loss of a very young and talented person,” Mamiashvili said.

“As for the circumstances of the incident, there are very serious questions. We will conduct our own investigation into what happened.”

“They were not in a closed area, the guys are already adults and could go out for a walk, but despite this, a certain responsibility falls on people.”

An image shared by Match TV purported to show the location of the tragedy, with an incredibly steep ascent highlighted.

According to the outlet, climbers were shocked that the group had managed to reach that point.

Zhiletezhev’s funeral has already been held in his native village Argudan, which is also in the Kabardino-Balkaria region.