Turkmenistan continues its golden run
Tajikistan’s Alisher Akhmedov and Turkmenistan’s Zohre Jumabayeva won double gold medals to star on the third day of the Asian Kickboxing Confederation (WAKO Asia) Championships 2016/17 at the Martial Arts Arena in the Ashgabat Olympic Complex on Friday.
While Akhmedov raced to victories in the men’s 63kg point fighting and 69kg light contact events, Jumabayeva emerged as victorious in the women’s musical form soft style and hard style with weapons categories.
After three days of competition, host Turkmenistan leads the standings with six gold medals, three silver and 21 bronze, while Iran is second with two gold, four silver and 12 bronze.
Akhmedov was thrilled after completing his almost superhuman feat: “I always knew it wasn’t going to be easy to win in two weight categories and styles. Things looked even more difficult as the two finals were being played just about an hour apart from one another. But I knew I could win if I tried hard enough. I gave it my best shot and that was enough. I couldn’t have asked for any more.”
Jumabayeva said she was elated to win double gold in front of a home crowd. “Although both are quite difficult routines, I’ve been working and perfecting them for a very long time. All the hard work paid off in front of my friends and family. Today was one of the best days of my life.”
In addition to Jumabayeva, Rahat Myradov (Men’s musical form hard style with weapons), Tamara Hojaniyazova (women’s Musical Form soft style with weapons), Allamyrat Annamyradov (81kg men’s low kick) and Sayyara Bahramova (52kg women’s full contact) also won gold for Turkmenistan.
Overall, the host had a very fruitful day on the competition floor, qualifying the maximum number of competitors — eight —for various category finals. While six Tajik athletes made the cut for the title showdowns, Iran, Kyrgyzstan (five each), Macau (two), Iraq, Nepal and Syria (one each) also ensured they had a chance at one of the better coloured medals.
With Turkmenistan leading the medal table after three days of competition, Iraq is second (two gold and six bronze), followed by Tajikistan (two gold, three bronze), India (one, four, 19), Macau (one, one, four), Afghanistan, Chinese Taipei (both at one silver, three bronze), Kyrgyzstan (11 bronze), Syria (five bronze), Korea, Malaysia (three bronze each), the Philippines (two bronze) and Nepal (one bronze).
Kickboxing action will resume at the Martial Arts Arena on Saturday morning.
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