LONDON (AP) — The Olympic judo competition has just had a visit from its biggest fan — Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Putin was in London on Thursday for talks with British Prime Minister David Cameron at his Downing Street residence, then it was off to the ExCel Centre in east London.
Military officers and uniformed police lined either side of the VIP entrances to the arena, and photographers sat with their backs turned to the competition to catch Putin’s arrival at his second-row seat.
It’s not a stretch to describe Putin — an honorary president of the International Judo Federation — as the world’s best-known judo fan. Putin has been a judo competitor since his childhood, eventually gaining the rank of black belt.