Athletes from 11 Asian countries saddled up for a horseback wrestling competition on Sunday in the Kazakh capital of Astana.
Thirty-three competitors from 11 Asian countries, including Kazakhstan, China, Kyrghyzstan, Turkey and Afghanistan, participated in the inaugural Horseback Wrestling Asian Champions Cup.
On the competition program were three weight categories: 70 kilogram, 90 kg and 90 kg-and-above.
Wrestlers from host country Kazakhstan swept the titles in all the three categories.
Akat Kuanysh from China managed to take the silver medal in the 70-kilogram category.
Horseback wrestling is believed to have originated in central Asia’s grasslands. Today, it remains a traditional, yet popular sport in the region.
The sport requires both physical strength and good command of the horse. Winning a match requires wrestlers to force their opponents down to the ground.
The competition was organized by Kazakhstan’s Agency for Sports and Physical Training and the Association of National Sports.
© The Associated Press, 2014