Russian President Vladimir Putin took part in a training session with his country's national judo team in Sochi on 8 January and held a friendly fight with the team's Italian coach, Ezio Gamba.

Russian TV footage showed Putin, who holds a black belt in judo, throwing one athlete after another on the floor. He has long cultivated a tough-guy image.

The president has been shown on TV playing ice-hockey, exercising in the gym, riding a horse, diving to the bottom of the Black Sea and flying with cranes. The judo session was the latest of many events aimed at showing the 63-year-old as physically fit, part of a long-running Kremlin drive to show voters that he is the right man to run the country.