Saudi Arabia, Qatar dominate podium but Ashgabat facilitates to help breed local success

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By Ijaz Ahmad Khan

ASHGABAT, (Turkmenistan), Sept 24 (APP): Turkmenistan’s staging of the
Equestrian Jumping at the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games has been hailed a huge success and will act as a spur to growing the sport in future years.
Marek Zaleski (POL), who was President of the Ground Jury in the event
at the Equestrian Centre, was confident that Turkmenistan’s jumpers will
only benefit from the experience. “As a first time in a country which built such a fantastic facility it was a successful competition,” said Zaleski
while briefing the media men.
“In the future this facility must be used and the federation here has
a plan to use it in the next year for a few international shows just for
the neighbouring countries,” he said, adding, “The Turkmenistan riders
need more experience as they are not yet competing in the big shows and
if they have more shows they will grow better and in the near future they will have a chance to compete internationally.”
Marek Zaleski also pointed out such outlays don’t bring immediate
results and need patience and focus, he said, adding, “the facilities are fantastic. They have invested a lot of money in a short time but horse breeding and improving the sport needs time.”
“One cannot have everything in one or two years and even one cannot do
that, he said. The Saudis were waiting around five years for their successes, he informed.
Medals were shared in the two days of competition at the Equestrian
Centre with Saudi Arabia winning the Team event. Individual gold went to Hamad Ali Al Attiayah (QAT) as he beat riders from Saudi Arabia and Iran into the silver and bronze medal spots.
Begli Garjayew (TKM) qualified for the Individual final, finishing 11th,
while team-mate Nikolay Belaryan (TKM) won gold in the Akhal Teke Cup competition, named for the local breed of horse riders competed on.
The riders from Saudi Arabia and Qatar are the top riders, Zaleshi said.
“They are among the best in the world, going to Olympic Games and World Championships with success,” he added. “The other countries are not yet ready for that and we saw the difference. It is difficult to find a balance as we don’t want to kill anybody’s chances but not give easy wins to the others,” he further added.
He said: “I think we found the solution in the Individual event. The
jump-off was really exciting and it was good to see three nations on the podium as it could have only been one or two.”
“Seeing Kyrgyzstan (Kamil Sabatov) get fourth place is also super as it
gives the chance for the sport to grow in this region,” he added.