By Miras Abykov
ASTANA - On November 10-11, the third World Cup in hand-to-hand fighting took place in Almaty at the Baluan Sholak sports complex.
Masters of hand-to-hand combat from 28 nations participated in the championship. They came from all the other 11 countries in the Commonwealth of Independent States and from the nations of North and South America, Europe, the Middle East, South and East Asia.
Kazakh fighters dominated the tournament, winning four gold medals, five silver and three bronze. Berik Shinaliyev, Asset Toleuov, Aibek Khyrykbay and Shahmaral Dzhetpisov all won their divisions and took home gold.
The silver medalists were Rizaydin Raylin, Talgat Orazgaliev, Birzhan Agimov, Nurgalim Kaltayev and Mahmoud Mukhamedzhanov. Zhanbolat Bisengaliev, Ruslan Mukhambaev and Adilzhan Saidulayev won bronze medals.
Athletes from Russia won four gold medals. However, the Russian team won less silver medals than Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan and placed third in the overall medals table.
The World Cup opening ceremony was held on November 10 and the semifinal and final bouts battles took place the following day. The tournament was organized by the World Federation of hand-to-hand fighting led by its president Lt. Gen. Amangeldi Shabdarbayev, the commander of Kazakhstan’s Republican Guard.
Vladimir Mukomilov, a member of the federation’s board of trustees, told a press conference before the championship that at the end of 2012, construction work will start on a new sports complex for hand-to-hand fighting at Lake Sayran in Almaty.
“It will be huge complex, capable of hosting competitions of any level. The headquarters of the World federation of hand-to-hand fighting will be located there as well,” he said.
Federation leaders also are seeking to get their sport included in the Summer Olympic Games program.