Astana Gets in on CrossFit Craze, Hosts Competition Honouring WWII Victory

A CrossFit festival that took place in Astana on May 10 gathered 80 participants from Russia and Kazakhstan and was dedicated to the 70th anniversary of the victory in the Great Patriotic War. The main prize was a check for one million tenge (US$5,382).


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“Outstanding athletes actively support the CrossFit festival. This event will determine the winner, the most physically prepared person. I’m glad that this tournament brought together so many participants. I wish you all success and good health,” said Olympic champion Yuri Melnichenko during the opening ceremony of the festival.

During the first phase of the festival, participants had to go through three competitions, which included a 400-metre dash and pull-ups, as well as exercises with a bar that had to be lifted to their chest off the floor. The final exercise was a special rowing simulator.

According to the results of the first phase, 18 people appeared in the final. Valentin Lukanovsky from Astana showed the best result. In the first of three final mini-tournaments, participants competed in physical strength. They had to pull up eight barbells from 43 kilogrammes to 118 kilogrammes. Each had to squat down with these bars three times for two minutes. The best was Sergei Koltovsky, who was the only one to raise the heaviest barbell.

The second part of the final included five pull ups and 87-kilogramme barbell dead lifts. After a four-minute break, participants had to do 100 double jumps, pull up a 28-kilogramme weight 50 times and 25-kilogramme dumbbells 40 times.

“The tournament is challenging, as we wanted to make participants work harder before the festival began. It is almost unreal to reach the final, but this is what we should strive for. We saw great sportsmen today,” said chief judge of the competition Ruslan Seidov.

Only two of the participants, Alexander Salmanov from Chelyabinsk and Talgat Iskendirov from Astana, reached the final competition. Each athlete was given a place for every competition he went through and then the points were added up.

Fifth place was given to Valentin Lukanovsky (Astana).  Two athletes, Talgat Iskendirov (Astana) and Anton Neznanov (Tomsk), scored the same amount of points and won third place. First place was also divided between two sportsmen, Alexander Salmanov (Chelyabinsk) and Sergei Koltovsky (Moscow).

“It was a great tournament. Thanks to the support of friends from Russia and Ukraine, I was able to win today. I hope there will be more CrossFit tournaments in Kazakhstan in the future and we will meet all together again. Thanks to Kazakhstan for the warm welcome,” said one of the champions, Sergey Koltovsky.

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