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2016 †N5-6(134-135)
Goresh is a national Turkmen kind of belt wrestling that is very popular among people. It is hard to imagine any Turkmen festivity without Palvan (strong man) wrestling, where the winner gets the top prize - a thoroughbred lamb. On other occasions, during large-scale celebrations, a car can be presented to the winner. Even in a series of Turkmen wedding rituals there is a mandatory ceremony of married women playful wrestling.
Owing to the universal popularity of Goresh, thousands of young sportsmen, who dream of the winner laurels in wrestling, come to sports clubs annually. The similarity of Goresh rules with the classic rules of belt wrestling enables Turkmen sportsmen to successfully compete in this popular international discipline. It is no coincidence that the hosts of the 2017 Asian Games look forward to winning medals in Goresh next year.
The forthcoming Asian Games also guided in many ways the plans of the Asian Belt Wrestling Federation to hold its regular Championship and Congress in Ashgabat. The nearly complete facilities of the forthcoming international sport forum were made available to over 300 young athletes from dozens of countries of the continent.
This event in Ashgabat has become historical, as it witnessed an organizational merger of two similar wrestling styles. The new structure was named the Asian Goresh and Belt Wrestling Federation. A decision to include Turkmen Goresh in the unified continental structure was passed at the Congress of the Asian Belt Wrestling Federation that was held on the eve of the start of the Asian Championship in these sports.
The Congress was attended by representatives of the International Belt Wrestling Federation, heads of national organizations of this sport of Malaysia, Indonesia, Pakistan, Iran and other countries, and the World Goresh Federation. They unanimously voted in favor of merging two increasingly popular wrestling styles. The coach of the Turkmen national team, Abdulla Berdiliev, was elected Vice-President of the Turkmen division of Goresh.
On the eve of the Asian Championship in Ashgabat, the Olympic village hosted an international referee seminar with the aim of raising the skills of the Goresh referee board and training foreign coaches and sportsmen. The continental level competition served as a kind of test for the referee pool. Assessing the quality of referee work on the sport mat, each referee was awarded a relevant certificate.
The tournament confirmed the obvious superiority of the hosts in their favorite sport. Turkmen Palvans won most of the medals of different denominations as part of the Asian Goresh Championship (free and classic styles). They were also among best wrestlers of the Continental Belt Wrestling Championship.
According to the results of two tournaments that lasted for four days, the host country won 98 (!) medals, including 44 gold, 28 silver and 26 bronze medals. This was an outstanding result that secured the tournament's Cup for Turkmenistan's wrestlers in the total count. The second place went to the team of Uzbekistan with 33 medals (four gold, five silver and 24 bronze). Kyrgyz athletes won the second place (four gold, four silver and 18 bronze medals).
The tournament participants conveyed a thank you letter to President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, in which they expressed great appreciation to the Turkmen leader for the excellent conditions at the Championship. According to President of the World Goresh Federation Maksat Nasyrov, the current rapid development of the ancient national wrestling is the result of the state policy on promotion of healthy lifestyle, physical culture and sports.
The International Belt Wrestling Federation representative Wehner Gainullin praised the colorful opening ceremony whose distinctive flavor was emphasized by the expressive elements of the traditional Turkmen culture in combination with the dynamics of modern sport. Speaking of the prospects, he expressed confidence that Ashgabat would ensure good organization of the upcoming Asian Games 2017.


©Turkmenistan Analytic magazine, 2005