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.


Finch's century helps fire Australia to eight-wicket win over Pakistan

Updated 23 March 2019
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Finch's century helps fire Australia to eight-wicket win over Pakistan

SHARJAH: Aaron Finch's fine century drove Australia to a convincing eight-wicket win over a new-look Pakistan in the first one-day international on Friday.
The Austraian skipper scored 116 off 135 balls for his 12th one-day international century that helped his team overhaul the 281-run target in 49 overs on a flat Sharjah stadium pitch.
The win gives Australia the lead in the five-match series and has come on the back of their 3-2 series win in India earlier this month.
Finch's match-winning knock overshadowed Haris Sohail's maiden one-day hundred (101 not out) which helped Pakistan to 280-5 in their 50 overs.
The 32-year-old smashed Shoaib Malik for a huge six towards deep mid-wicket to complete his century -- his first since June last year against England at Chester-Le-Street -- off 120 balls.
Finch, who knocked four sixes and eight boundaries, added an innings-building 172 runs for the second wicket with Shaun Marsh who scored an unbeaten 91 off 102 balls with four boundaries and two sixes.
With 46 needed Finch became Mohammad Abbas's maiden wicket but Peter Handscomb hit 30 not out to help Marsh cross the line.
Finch and Marsh came together after opener Usman Khawaja fell for 24 to medium pacer Faheem Ashraf, the only other success Pakistan's new-look bowling attack could achieve.
Pakistan rested six of their key players including regular skipper Sarfraz Ahmed in order to keep them fresh for the World Cup starting in UK from May 30.
But the young and inexperienced Pakistan led by Malik proved no match for Australia, who are on a roll after their win in India earlier this month.
Left-hander Sohail, who reached 1,000 runs in his 27th one-day international when on 40, anchored Pakistan's innings, adding 98 for the third wicket with Umar Akmal who made a 50-ball 48 in his first international match for two years.
Sohail took a single to complete his hundred in the last over, finishing with six boundaries and a six.
Pakistan had handed one-day debuts to opener Shan Masood and Abbas -- who have played 15 and 14 Tests respectively.
Masood put on 35 in an opening stand with Imam-ul-Haq (17) before off-spinner Nathan Lyon dismissed Imam in the seventh over, caught and bowled.
Masood, who hit five boundaries in his 62-ball 40, was then bowled by paceman Nathan Coulter-Nile who finished with 1-38 in his 10 overs.
Umar smashed three sixes in one Jhye Richardson over but fell one short of his half century.
Malik fell for 11 and Ashraf and Imad Wasim scored 28 each.
Wasim hit four boundaries and a six during his 13-ball unbeaten knock, helping Pakistan to 55 runs in the last five overs.
Sunday's second ODI is also being played in Sharjah, with the third in Abu Dhabi (March 27) and the last two in Dubai (March 29 and 31).