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20.02.2018 | 23:08 |

Aleksandr BAYRIEV

The recently completed Turkmenistan Boxing Championship is still being discussed among both specialists and numerous boxing fans also. Particularly, among young, who, within four days during the tournament filled the spacious tribunes of the sports complex of martial arts of the Olympic town of the Turkmen capital.

The headliners of the competitions were celebrities, who pleasantly surprised everyone with the complete absence of a sign of a “star syndrome”. They easily communicated with anyone who, brave enough, dared to approach them with a request for a “memory selfie” or an autograph on a small scrap of paper.

They are bright stars of world sports, and the Turkmen youth were admired by them.

They are:

legendary Denis LEBEDEV – professional boxer, WBA and IBF Champion, and Oleg TAKTAROV – World Champion in Mixed Martial Arts, a prize-winner of a number of international tournaments and famous for his roles in Russian and foreign movies, including in bohemian Hollywood;

Alexander LEBZYAK – Olympic Champion, World and European Champion, head coach of the Turkmen boxing team, as well as the main hope of team;

Serik KONAKBAYEV, the Vice President of the International Amateur Boxing Association and the President of the Asian Confederation of Boxing, as well as Oleg SAITOV – the two-time Olympic Champion.

Arriving to Ashgabat first, Serik Konakbayev and Oleg Saitov visited the Ashgabat Olympic town the same day.

The amazing view and the wonderful conditions created in the Olympic town for athletes, coaches and spectators, gave rise to the idea in the minds of the guests to hold the highest regional and international competitions in Ashgabat. First of all, the Asia and the world championship in boxing.

Denis Lebedev and Oleg Taktarov, who arrived a little later, also expressed a desire to be acquainted with the Olympic complex, which caused them many enthusiastic emotions also. Moreover, not only emotions, but also a desire to check sports objects themselves.

Oleg Taktarov, in addition to mixed martial arts, is also keen on basketball. After playing with Lebedev in one of America's most favorite sports games, Taktarov, who knows the transatlantic way of life firsthand, quite authoritatively stated that the Turkmen basketball courts are not inferior to the sports facilities of the NBA, the world-famous National Basketball Association, which is part of the group of 4 major North American professional leagues.

All together, the guests visited the International Equestrian Center, where the highest marks were awarded to the skills of Turkmen dzhigits.

Oleg Taktarov lives in Moscow and in Los Angeles, where he was nicknamed “Russian Stirlitz in America”. He saw a lot of equestrian clubs in US and assures that there literally adore the Akhal-Teke horses – Americans are simply captivated by the beauty and grace, loyalty and high-speed qualities of the Turkmen horses.

The world-famous sportsmen experienced amazing feelings from meetings with Turkmen Alabais, live prototypes of the AIMAG-2017 talisman –Vepaly. By the way, the family of Denis Lebedev is feeling quite comfortable to live along with a couple of Turkmen Alabais in a Moscow apartment – after all, they are true friends and the most reliable guards.

Many delightful words were said about beauty of Turkmen capital. Guests were fascinated by the architecture of the city – white marble buildings, wide streets with a beautiful road surface and, especially, by the comfortable five-star hotel “Yildiz” where they stayed.

Well, the legendary athletes were impressed a lot by the Turkmen cuisine also. They tried for the first time a dograma, after which they asked for additional portions, and, then they took a few portions along with them, so that on their return home they could treat to family members.

The question, if they will be able to bring the incomparably delicious Turkmen food to their families, remains open so far. As it was noticed, our guests kept chewing something all the way to the hotel.

As the celebrities admit, they discovered a lot for themselves during these days in Ashgabat, and the most important of them was Turkmen boxing - a gambling, ambitious and promising, rushing to a big world arena. However, let us give them a word:

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Turkmenistan Boxing Championship 2018 became a real discovery for the fans of the country also, who saw a new level and new opportunities of our athletes.

The National Boxing Federation of Turkmenistan expresses its special gratitude to the general sponsor of the tournament – the Ministry of Trade and Foreign Economic Relations of Turkmenistan, as well as to the supporter-companies “Automatizasiya Tehnologiya Merkezi” and “Bagtyyarlyk Market”.

For a full version of the press conference click here.

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