NUR-SULTAN – The Kazakhstan Athletics Federation elected capital Akim (Mayor) Altai Kulginov as president of the city’s Athletics Federation during its Dec. 11 conference, reported the akimat website.
“Given the achievements and shortcomings [of athletics], there is a need to move forward. Track and field athletics is a sport close to my heart. It is one of the Olympic sports with the most medals. No wonder it is called the queen of sports,” he said.
Kulginov thanked the federation for the trust and noted developing athletics, including building of the necessary infrastructure, will be given due attention.
National Federation President Danial Akhmetov spoke about the current state of track and field, its development aspects and the results of World Athletics (formerly International Association of Athletics Federations) President Sebastian Coe’s recent visit to the capital.
He noted the importance of developing track and field infrastructure. The federation plans to build seven indoor athletics complexes, one of which is scheduled to open next year in the city.
“The key area where we have a lot of work to do is human capital, which is to prepare high-quality coaching staff and athletes, unleashing the potential of promising athletes. After all, a trainer is like an airplane pilot, on whom the course depends. Developing mass sports along with professional sports is also key,” he added.
Approximately 2,000 individuals currently practice track and field regularly in the city. This year, its athletes won nine gold, 12 silver and 17 bronze medals at various tournaments at the national and international level.
Many competitions were organised in the capital this year to develop and popularise the sport. The list included the Adaldyk Alany Charity athletics race, Astana Marathon, national tournament in memory of coach Kairat Zhuanyshev, Nauryz Marathon and October Run Fest 2019.
Athletic competitions appeared in the first Olympic Games in Athens in 1896 and until the 1928 games in Amsterdam featured only men. The Summer Olympic Games now include 47 sports – 24 male and 23 female.