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Family knows best for Turkmenistan Greco-Roman Wrestlers

22 August, 2017 (16:03)
Tags: Turkmenistan, Wrestling

Of all the Turkmenistan teams taking part in the Ashgabat 2017 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games, it’s the Greco-Roman Wrestling squad that is the most family-oriented.

While six Wrestlers decided to keep their family traditions alive by following their fathers or brothers into the sport, another five took it up at the strong insistence of their parents.

Among them, the story of Suleyman Belliyev, who will compete in the 130kg event, may be the most compelling. He followed his father Maksat, a renowned Freestyle Wrestler, onto the mat in the pursuit of glory for his beloved country.

“Thanks to my father’s reputation, I was always expected to become a Freestyle Wrestler. Sure enough, I began my journey as one. But after a few months, my coaches suggested I build up more muscles in my arms. They said I should join Greco-Roman Wrestling for a short period as the discipline gave more importance to upper-body strength, especially in the arms,” he said.

“To cut a long story short, I immediately took to the new style and excelled in it. I never went back to being a Freestyle Wrestler. My father was disappointed, but eventually accepted my decision,” said Suleyman, a student of the Belarusian National Technical University.

Despite his initial reservations, Maksat is fully behind his son and is looking forward to him competing at Ashgabat 2017.

“I was disappointed with Suleyman’s decision to become a Greco-Roman Wrestler to start. For a very long time, I believed he had switched disciplines because he lacked the necessary technique to be a good Freestyle Wrestler. But now, I feel his decision was the right one. I’m glad that his younger brother Yusup is also following in his footsteps,” said Maksat.

Ali Seyhow, who will compete in the 71kg event, also has his family to thank for pushing him into the sport.

“I’ve got Greco-Roman Wrestling in my blood,” he said. “My father Samir was a USSR national team member and my brother Khalil is the current national team’s assistant coach. So I had my sporting life pretty much charted out for me from a very young age. I’ve an unfair advantage over my competitors because there are two people to advise me about Wrestling at all times. Ashgabat 2017 is going to be my first international competition and I’m eagerly looking forward to it.”

If friends can be considered as family, like 75kg Wrestler Shermet Permanov does, then they too have played a role in Turkmen Wrestlers’ lives.

“I started Wrestling while still in the fourth grade after some of my friends, who’re still very close to me, encouraged me to join a sports school that had recently opened near my home in Turkmenabad,” he said. “That’s how I was initiated into the sport. Now, I’m a Wrestling coach and into the sport full time.”

Meanwhile, the Turkmenistan national team’s head coach Rosgi Redjepov exuded confidence in his wards’ chances at Ashgabat 2017.

“I’ve been with this team since 2009 and they’ve come a long way during this period. They’ve been training hard and have already attended several training camps at home and abroad. Before the event at home, they’ll attend camps in Moscow, Russia, and Tashkent, Uzbekistan. They’re ready for the competition at home. They’ll do well,” he said.

Wrestling competitions will take place in the Main Indoor Arena at the Ashgabat Olympic Complex on 25 and 26 September.

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