World Nomad Games 世界遊牧民族運動會

Sat, Sep 08, 2018 - Page 14

Kyrgyzstan kicked off the World Nomad Games it has hosted biennally since 2014 on Monday with Turkey pledging to host the 2020 edition of the week-long traditional sports extravaganza.

The picturesque Kyrchyn gorge near the shores of the Central Asian country’s Lake Issyk-Kul was awash with colour as dancers and horse riders entertained international and local guests before the real action began on Tuesday.

Kyrgyzstan has promoted the games as a way of preserving traditional sports, most of which were played by Turkic nomadic peoples over the centuries, while boosting the impoverished republic’s fledgling tourism sector.

The games feature more than 40 sports contested by hundreds of athletes from dozens of countries with Kyrgyzstan’s Central Asian neighbours and Russia tending to send the largest teams.

One traditional Turkic game that earned loud applause and whoops from spectators saw a female rider gallop past a male competitor and playfully whip him as he strained to overtake her.

The objective of the male rider in the game called Kyz Kuu is to steal a kiss from the woman rider as he overtakes her, but only a few managed it during the show on Monday.