The Atyrau Paralympic wheelchair volleyball team won bronze at a Dec. 1 international tournament in Germany and player-coach Bauyrzhan Takhauov was voted captain of the team.
The Atyrau Paralympians, a wheelchair volleyball team, took part in the traditional tournament, the Cup of Leipzig. Teams including winners of the Paralympic Games, World and Asian Championships, Egypt’s national team, as well as the national teams of Germany and Ukraine gathered in Saxon city.
Germany was represented at this tournament by eight teams. Five members of the German national team, including the captain, as well as the main team of the country, played at Leipzig 1. Slavutich, which is almost entirely composed of Ukrainian national team players who are now in the European rankings, won fourth place. The Atyrau team brought some of the strongest participants.
The tournament began with a symbolic match, World Team vs. Germany.
On the way to the semi-finals, each team held five matches. The Kazakhstan team gained victories in matches against Magdeburg, Leverkusen and Egypt, tied the score with Leipzig and lost to Ukraine.
In the semifinals, they played again against the Germans and defeated them. In the fight for third place, they played the team from Finland. The fate of the match was decided in the final third set, where the ending of the match could have been dramatic for the Atyrau team. But in the end, the game ended with a score of 18:16 in favour of Atyrau.
The founder of the team and its permanent leader Takhauov noted the strong performance of his team. Atyrau was tested by the Germans, who noted the progress the team has made. All participants of the tournament are long-standing rivals who have participated many times in various international tournaments, world and Asia championships. Many also know each other personally.
Atyrau’s athletes have traveled to many foreign countries, but this was their first time playing in Germany. They were the first team from Kazakhstan to receive an invitation to the tournament.