June 16, 2014 4:09 pm

WATCH: ‘Horseback wrestling’ competition held in Kazakhstan

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

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