Vladimir Putin was pulled to the floor by a female judo star and cut his finger during a sparring session for the cameras

Vladimir PutinVladimir Putin.AP

  • Vladimir Putin trained with the Russian national judo team this week.
  • During the session, he sparred with Natalia Kuzyutina, who won a bronze medal at the 2016 Olympics.
  • Putin's spokesman said the Russian president cut his finger during one grapple.

Vladimir Putin loves a photocall showing off his physical prowess. He's played ice hockey, tried boxing, kicked a soccer ball around the Kremlin, and of course, gone topless fishing.

This week was no different. The Russian president joined a training session with the national judo team in Sochi, Russia, during which he took part in some light sparring.

It's not the first time Putin has done judo for the cameras, and indeed the president wears a black belt, which symbolises that he is at the top of his game when it comes to the martial art.

Read more: Vladimir Putin's hard-core daily routine includes hours of swimming, late nights, and no alcohol

On Thursday, Putin faced off against Natalia Kuzyutina, who won a bronze medal at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Video of their sparring session was shown on state broadcaster RT's Spanish channel, and it shows Kuzyutina pulling Putin to the ground.

Here's the video of Putin sparring with Kuzyutina (just past the minute mark):

Kuzyutina was clearly thrilled with the opportunity to grapple with the Russian president, posting twice about the training session on Instagram. "Thank you for the honor," she said, per Google Translate.

Following his training with the judo team, Putin's spokesman admitted that the president injured himself. "During one grapple he cut his finger a bit, or it was a bruise," Putin's spokesman told journalists. "But this is a normal injury, not a big deal, it's not even really an injury. Sport is sport."

Putin hosted talks in Sochi on Thursday with the president of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish president. The trio discussed their strategies for Syria.
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