Serik Konakbayev: In Kazakhstan sport is a fashion today

ASTANA. KAZINFORM – On benefits of sport, doping, and Kazakhstan’s position in the world of boxing in an interview with Serik Konakbayev, the vice-president of the Amateur International Boxing Association (AIBA), the president of the Asian Boxing Confederation (ASBC).
– Serik Kerimbekovich, we are meeting with you on the eve of the Independence Day of the Republic of Kazakhstan. What does this special day mean to you?
– From the very first days of sovereignty, our young state began to take active steps to join the international community, the Republic of Kazakhstan needed to declare itself and take its rightful place on the geopolitical map of the world. It was necessary to establish political and economic contacts with all countries. It is essential that along with the establishment of diplomatic relations, the Head of State understood the importance of reaching the world sports arena. I always say that sport is a calling card of any State, thanks to the victories of athletes the world will get to know the country, its flag and anthem. Today we see that not only huge fans of sports, but also ordinary citizens in different parts of the world, at hearing “Golovkin, Ilyin” joyfully exclaim “Oh, Kazakhstan!” I am very proud that our athletes from year to year only strengthen their positions in world ratings. I would like to note that while this year we celebrate the 26th anniversary of our sovereignty, the National Olympic Committee of Kazakhstan celebrated its 25th anniversary.
– Sure, it is very important for you, as a Olympic Games silver medalist, to develop the Olympic sport. What can you say about the highest sport of achievements in our country?
– If we speak about Olympism, over these years our NOC has become a full member of the world Olympic movement, and occupies strong positions in the system of the International Olympic Committee. It is not entirely correct for me to talk about all sports, but basing my answer on the example of boxing, I can say that we do not lose our place on the world boxing podium. Recently, the Asian Boxing Confederation has published ratings of Asian countries, based on the results since 1904, from the moment of inclusion of boxing in the program of the Olympic Games. Based on the analysis, we see that Kazakhstan is the Asian leader in terms of the number of won Olympic medals. We have 22 medals of various calibers, followed by Thailand and Uzbekistan with 14 medals. Based on the results of the world championships from 1974 to the present, we are in 4th place in the world with 46 medals, having passed ahead Cuba, Russia (including USSR awards), the USA. In general, there is a result, there is something to be proud of, and there is a room for improvement. Believe me, as to an athlete, that it is one thing to achieve results, but to retain and strengthen the achieved positions is also not easy task. It is not for nothing that I stated the impressive results of Kazakhstan’s boxing as an example. As you know, at present the NOC of the Republic of Kazakhstan is headed by Timur Kulibayev, who previously headed the Kazakhstan Boxing Federation for several years. Today we see how those developments, tested at the Boxing Federation, are being introduced into the system of the Olympic Committee. We can see the productive work of state bodies, the Olympic Committee and federations of Olympic sports. Sports facilities are being built, equipment is being procured, support is provided to athletes and coaches. This is social responsibility, one of the principles of Olympism. After all, a great sport is not only an athlete, it is the whole world around it, including the appropriate infrastructure, material, medical and intellectual security, the more we invest, the greater the return. These investments are a tangible contribution to the image of our country at the world arena. I would also like to note the last trend in Kazakhstan; probably not only I noticed it. Today in Kazakhstan sport is in fashion, it is on trend to be healthy, to do sport and to be involved in sport. In this sense, we have achieved the task that our President assigned to the country: a healthy nation, massive involvement in sport.
– Indeed, very interesting facts. Serik Kerimbekovich, we are now witnessing a very rigid position of the International Olympic Committee on Anti-Doping. As a sports functionary of international scale, tell me, is there a threat for our athletes?
– I would like to note that Olympism is a whole life philosophy, which implies the unity of merits of body, will and mind, a symbiosis of only the best qualities of man, including the observance of ethical principles. I believe that the IOC strictly follows the Olympic Charter in this matter. Athletes must win in a fair fight, if they lose, then only in a worthy fight. I don’t think that our athletes will face such a problem henceforth. Our Olympic Committee expressed its clear position on intolerance to doping and a lot of work is done in this direction. In my opinion, the current situation with the detection of doping on our and foreign athletes has become a good lesson for all: both the athletes themselves and the sports authorities. I think that it is unlikely for anyone to be eager to fall into the same trap. I also think that sport should be out of politics. I experienced myself what is “politics over sport” policy and I do not want other sportsmen to go through this. If you remember the ancient history, then during the Olympic Games even wars ceased, an armistice was declared. I really want the modern world to come to it.
– Thank you for the interview.
– Thank you. I would like to congratulate all Kazakhstan people on the holiday and wish everyone success, prosperity, peace and peace in every home.
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