Kyrgyzstan all set to host World Nomad Games for the third time

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A woman shoots an arrow using her feet. (Getty Images)
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A Kyrgyz stuntman. (Getty images)
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Wrestling (Getty images)
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A competitor with his golden eagle. (Getty images
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French and Uzbek riders play Kok Boru.  (Getty images)
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Horse competition. (Getty images)
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Dog judging. (Getty images)
Updated 07 September 2018
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Kyrgyzstan all set to host World Nomad Games for the third time

  • Held once every two years, Kyrgyzstan is hosting 2018’s dazzling display of traditional sports

 

DUBAI: The Olympic Games might be the world’s oldest celebration of sport, but a newer player on the global stage offers a fascinating alternative. 

The World Nomad Games, being held for the third time in Kyrgyzstan this week, are a dazzling display of traditional sports in this corner of the world.

Held once every two years since 2014 under the patronage of UNESCO, the games have been growing steadily, from 20 countries attending the first event to 80 this year, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq.

This year’s high-profile visitors included Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose country will host the fourth World Nomad Games in 2020, and the Crown Prince of Fujairah, Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad Al-Sharqi.

Since Sunday’s opening in Cholpon-Ata on the shores of Issyk-Kul Lake, there have been yurt-building competitions and nomad fashion shows, but mostly there have been sports.

Competitions involve traditional takes on well-known sports such as archery, arm-wrestling, tug of war, sumo wrestling and horse racing, but many are much lesser known. Take Kok Boru, for instance: A traditional Kyrtyz horseback competition in which teams throw a dead sheep or goat into their opponent’s well on the field. It dates back to a time when men returning from the hunt would chase the wolves away from their sheep, picking them up and throwing them between one another. 

There is also more than one form of belt wrestling, an ancient nomad way of fighting that involves going after your opponent’s belt. And if all of this sounds a little rough, there are also “intellectual games” such as mangala, played with stones on a board.

It should come as no surprise that Kyrgyzstan, as the host for three years running, was well ahead in the medal count heading into the final day on Saturday, although the UAE was reported to have won a gold medal.

Decoder

World Nomad Games terms

Alysh - Traditional Kyrgyz belt wrestling, one of the country’s most ancient games, in which the goal is to pin down the opponent by holding their belt. Ashyrtmaly Aba Gureshi - Traditional Turkish wrestling, involving different holds on the opponent’s body or clothing. Burkut Saluu - Kyrgyz hunting using eagles and dogs. Dalba - Kyrgyz hunting with a falcon. Er Enish - Kyrgyz horesback wrestling. Kok Boru - A traditional Kyrtyz horseback competition in which teams throw a dead sheep or goat into their opponent’s well on the playing field. Mangala - A Turkish intellectual game involving stones on a board.


Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City ease past Huddersfield to cut Liverpool’s Premier League lead

Updated 20 January 2019
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Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City ease past Huddersfield to cut Liverpool’s Premier League lead

HUDDERSFIELD: Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola was far from satisfied despite a 3-0 win away to Huddersfield Town on Sunday that saw his side cut Liverpool’s lead at the top of the Premier League table to four points.
Liverpool’s compelling 4-3 win over Crystal Palace on Saturday heaped huge pressure back onto reigning champions City but they were rarely troubled by a Town side that look a certain bet for relegation this season.
City’s first goal, a deflected strike for Danilo in the 18th minute, brought up their 100th goal of the season in all competitions before Raheem Sterling scored a diving header from Leroy Sane’s cross in the 54th minute and Sane himself made it 3-0 with a calm finish just two minutes later.
For Guardiola, it should have been an afternoon of enjoyment as his side again proved their willingness to push Liverpool all the way this season.
The City manager, however, has forged a footballing reputation based on sublime performances as well as ruthless goalscoring and, on that basis, his team’s showing in West Yorkshire was not a success as the visitors never really clicked into gear on a day against a Huddersfield side who had parted company with manager David Wagner on Monday.
“During the season you have these kind of games,” Guardiola said. “It is important to win. We have scored many goals in all competitions.
“(But) the way we played, we didn’t deserve more than three goals. We will improve in the future.
“We have to demand more from ourselves in every game and do our best, but sometimes it’s difficult.
“Today we are happy we have won but after immediately we have to analyze. During the season you have games when maybe you are not in the top level and it is important to win these games.”
Although City’s fans were happier than their manager following this result, Guardiola could at least take some heart from the fact his side again refused to blink first in the race for the title.
For the second consecutive week, City kicked off knowing Liverpool had already won their weekend fixture and that, consequently, the onus was back on his players to secure three points as well.
Once again, Guardiola’s side managed to do that following up the 3-0 victory over Wolves with this showing and the City manager was more than happy to remind everybody that silverware is not handed out for another four months.
“One team has been better but we’re in January and there’s many more games to play,” he added.
“You don’t win or lose the Premier League in January. We have to focus on what we have to do. If Liverpool win, we have to win. And if Liverpool lose then we also have to win.”
This match was a baptism of fire for Huddersfield’s caretaker boss Mark Hudson and while the Terriers showed impressive fight to inspire some hope this season, this defeat still left them 10 points adrift of safety.
If, as expected, the Borussia Dortmund Under-23 coach Jan Siewert is appointed as Wagner’s permanent replacement, nobody would blame him if he spent his first day in the job preparing for a return to the second-tier Championship next season.
“It’s been a long week,” admitted Hudson.