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Putin’s judo trainer Anatoly Rakhlin dies at 75

August 7, 2013

MOSCOW (AP) — St. Petersburg’s Judo Federation says that Anatoly Rakhlin, President Vladimir Putin’s first judo coach, has died. He was 75.

Rakhlin died Wednesday in St. Petersburg, where he lived. The judo federation said that his funeral is set for Friday.

Putin sent condolences to Rakhlin’s family, praising him as a “strong, determined, intelligent and kind man” who was a “genuine teacher and caring mentor in sport and in life” for his students.

Putin started practicing judo under Rakhlin when he was 12 and went on to receive a black belt. The president even co-authored a book and an instructional DVD called “Let’s Learn Judo with Vladimir Putin.”

The president last met with Rakhlin in May, when he presented his former teacher with a watch.

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