NUR-SULTAN – The Kazakh National Olympic Committee recognised the country’s best athletes for 2019 Nov. 30 during the Altyn Samgau awards ceremony in the capital. In traditional fashion, eminent and titled sports veterans including Victor Aboimov, Guzel Manyurova, Kuralbek Ordabayev, Olga Shishigina and Zhaksylyk Ushkempirov presented the awards.
Boxer Bekzad Nurdauletov won the title of Best Summer Sports Athlete. Nurdauletov, who won the gold medal at the World Cup in Yekaterinburg, Russia, defeated Olympic champion and four-time world champion Julio Cesar La Cruz, of Cuba, in the semi-finals.
Nineteen-year-old skater Elizabet Tursynbayeva won Best Winter Sports Athlete for her silver medal at the World Figure Skating Championships in Saitama, Japan. She performed the quadruple salchow in the free skate programme, becoming the first female skater to successfully complete the difficult element in senior competition.
Abilmansur Batyrgali, winner of the World Karate Youth Championships in Chile, was named Best Young Athlete. The committee recognised the Kazakh National Ice Hockey Federation as the Best National Sports Federation.
The Kyzylorda Region Department of Physical Culture and Sports was named the Best Sports Region. Freestyle wrestling champion Alisher Yergali received the Breakthrough of the Year award. He won a Kazakh team license for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo at the World Cup in the capital.
Freestyle wrestling team coach Aset Serikbaev and freestyle mogul team head coach Yelena Kruglykhina were honoured as the Best Coaches in summer and winter sports, respectively. Kruglykhina won the title for the second consecutive time. Her trainee, Yulia Galysheva, was the first Kazakh athlete to earn gold in the Mogul Freestyle World Championship.
The men’s national ice hockey team won Best Team of the Year. The team made it to the elite division of the world hockey championship by winning at the world championship (group A, first division) in the capital.
The Altyn Samgau committee included nominations in Paralympic sports for the first time in its history. Nurlan Dombay was named Best Paralympic Athlete for his gold medal in the under 75 kilogramme weight category at the 2019 Para Taekwondo World Championship. The victory made him a two-time world champion.
The Best Paralympic Sports Trainer was the judo team’s head coach Zhandos Kiyanov.