Kazakhstan sport: Highlights of 2013

12 марта 2014, 10:06

Kazakhstan athletes participated in many world championships and the year 2013 was quite successful for them.

Here is the list of the most exciting and successful sports events for Kazakhstan:

1. Kazakhstan's first World Champion speed skater

Victory of speed skater Denis Kuzin from Kostanay city was the brightest sports event of 2013.

Kuzin won the gold medal in the men's 1000 meters race at the 2013 World Single Distance Speed Skating Championship held in Sochi, Russia. He covered the distance in 1 minute and 9.14 seconds.

This was the first time an athlete from Kazakhstan won a speed skating world's gold.

Denis Kuzin (C). ©RIA Novosti

Denis Kuzin (C). ©RIA Novosti

2. New cross-country skiing favorite from Kazakhstan.

Alexey Poltoranin, Kazakhstan’s best skier, became one of the leaders of the World Skiing Racing. He gained a range of medals of different value at the 2013 World Championship and World Cup Stages.

In January 2013, he won the men's 15-kilometer classical-style mass start in a sprint finish. Then he won the 1.5 k classic sprint in Davos in February - this was Poltoranin’s first sprint victory in the World Cup.

Then he finished second in last two stages of the season in Lahti and Drammen. The athlete finished the 2012–2013 World Cup season among the permanent favorites in the 4th place in the world's overall with 995 points.

Alexey Poltoranin. Photo courtesy of vesti.kz

Alexey Poltoranin. Photo courtesy of vesti.kz

3. Boxing Wolves of Astana beat their rivals

Kazakhstan was especially successful in amateur boxing. Kazakh boxers became more popular in the world after the Astana Arlans (Astana Wolves) boxers gained a tremendous victory in the III Season of the World Series of Boxing.

It was a great contribution into development of sport in Kazakhstan. The team won over the Ukraine Otamans with the score of 6:5 in the finals of the 3rd Season. Bantamweight boxer Bagdad Alimbekov brought the decisive point to his team.

Sergey Korchinsky, the chief coach of Astana Arlans, is the main creator of their success; it was the second time his team won the WSB. Korchinsky has been named the Chess Player for his brilliant strategies.

Photo courtesy of vesti.kz

Photo courtesy of vesti.kz

4. Brightest figure skater of Kazakhstan

Figure skater Denis Ten is the next great achievement of Kazakhstan sport. He won the silver medal at the World Figure Skating Championship in Canadian London.

Denis Ten managed to perform clean all the most difficult figure skating elements. He opened with a quadruple toe loop, then he delivered two triple axels and stayed on his feet throughout a joyfully expressive performance set to "The Artist" and spectators rewarded the ecstatic Ten with a thunderous standing ovation.

He scored a personal best of 91.56 points in the short program and received a small silver medal for the segment. Another personal best was 174.92 points that saw him place first in the long program and win a small gold medal. And Overall, Ten won the silver medal with a total score of 266.48 points.

Denis Ten became the first person from Kazakhstan to stand on a world podium in figure skating.

Kazakhstan's Denis Ten, Canada's Patrick Chan and Spain's Javier Fernandez. ©AFP

Kazakhstan's Denis Ten, Canada's Patrick Chan and Spain's Javier Fernandez. ©AFP

5. Successful failure of Kazakhstan footballers
Karaganda FC Shakhter almost reached the group stage of the Champion League and after making Scottish Celtic shiver. However, Kazakhstan football club Shakhter of Karaganda failed to prevail over Scottish Celtic in the second leg match of the final play-off round of the Champion League, even in spite of winning the first leg match 2:0. Shakhter failed to advance into the group stage of the Champion League, as it was losing one point to Celtic after the second leg match. The total score of the two matches made 2:3 in Celtic's favor.

But it was still a big achievement for the Kazakhstan football in general, because no football club had achieved such results at the Champion League before.

FC Shakhter of Karaganda. ©Konstantin Pavlenko

FC Shakhter of Karaganda. ©Konstantin Pavlenko

6. Boxing winners again

Kazakhstan boxers have one more great victory in October 2013. The Kazakhstan national boxing team won the first place with 8 medals (4 gold, 2 silver, 2 bronze) at the AIBA World Boxing Championship by medal count.

Birzhan Zhakypov won the first gold medal for Kazakhstan in the -49kg weight division. He won over Algeria's Mohamed Flissi in the final bout.

The second gold was earned by Merey Akshalov in the -64kg weight category. Merey fought against Cuba's Yasnier Lopez in his final to win the champion title.



Daniyar Yeleussinov, captain of the Kazakhstan national team, gained the third gold medal for his team. He represented Kazakhstan in the -69kg weight category. Daniyar faced Arisnoidys Despaigne of Cuba in a tight and intensive final fight. He was also awarded with the 2013 World Champion and AIBA Elite Man Boxer of 2013.

Middleweight boxer Zhanibek Alimkhanuly (-75kg) fought against Jason Quigley from Ireland in the finals and brought the fourth gold to his team with an indisputable and classy victory.

And Myrzagaly Aitzhanov, Chief Coach of the Kazakhstan National Boxing Team, received the Best AIBA Coach of the Year award. He had been the team's chief coach for five years.

7. Kazakhstan's athlete abroad

Kazakhstan Professional boxer Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin, WBA middleweight champion, had four bouts during the year 2013, ending every one of them with KOs.

He won over American Gabriel Rosado in January. Then he faced and beat Japanese Nobuhiro Ishida in March. British boxer Matthew Macklin became his next opponent in June. And Golovkin's last fight was against Curtis Stevens in November.

Gennady Golovking fought against strong rivals, looked impressive and gave spectacular shows during his 2013 bouts.

Gennady Golovkin. ©AFP

Gennady Golovkin. ©AFP

8. Futsal warriors conquer UEFA Cup

Almaty Kairat Futsal Club that won the UEFA Futsal Cup returned to Almaty with the trophy in April 2013.

Kazakhstan's Kairat won UEFA Futsal Cup and the title of the best European club for the first time in the history of its existence. The Kazakhstan team won over Spain’s Barcelona (5:4) (last year's winner of the UEFA Futsal Trophy) and Moscow Dinamo (4:3) in the Final Four tournament that was held in Tbilisi.

The chief coach of the club, Brazilian Ricardo Cacau said: “It is a historic moment in my career. I want to thank all the people who trusted in this project, especially our vice president, the one who hired me. I want to dedicate this win to everybody in Kazakhstan. I am excited to be in our first final. My team played really well technically and tactically. All my players were like warriors. It is what I wanted. We have beaten the best team in the world, a team that has won everything in the last two years. Barcelona are in the past, and now we can make history.” 

Photo courtesy of kairat-futsal.kz

Photo courtesy of kairat-futsal.kz

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