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Turkmen set to challenge strong Uzbek team in Sambo action

23 September, 2017 (15:20)
Tags: Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan

Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan are poised to dominate the medals as Sambo makes its debut at the Ashgabat 2017 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games.

When the old Soviet military martial art begins with nine events on Sunday 24 September, the double world champion Istam Kudratov will spearhead an Uzbek team stocked full of medal hopefuls.

The 27-year-old has finished on the podium in four world championships and should win the -74kg Combat Sambo here unless the 2017 Asian champion, Beknazar Raiymkul Uulu, stops him.

In six out of Sunday’s events, Uzbekistan have an Asian champion from 2017 or 2016 competing. In the other three, names such as Sarbon Ernazarov, a bronze medallist from the past two world championships, pose a threat.

Combat specialists Turkmenistan are also likely to frequent the podium on the first day.

One of the hosts’ main hopes is 2016 world championship runner-up Carymyrat Annagurbanow, in the -100kg Combat. He will have to beat Uzbekistan’s four-time world championship medallist Islomjon Azimov.

Kazakhstan could rob the two giants of some glory on Sunday. Their biggest hope is the men’s -52kg class, in which the 2015 world champion Beimbet Kanzhanov and this year’s Asian champion Yerbol Aldukhan fight for medals.

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