The history of sport in Kazakhstan
In September 2021, the world triathlon will celebrate its 47th anniversary. According to World Triathlon, the first officially registered triathlon took place in San Diego, California on September 24, 1974. Triathlon was born as one of the activities of the San Diego Track Club. The race, which took place in Mission Bay, consisted of a 9.65-kilometer race, followed by an 8.04-kilometer bike race and a 457-meter swim. A total of 46 athletes finished.
During this time, the triathlon has grown into a huge network of competitions, including the Olympic Games, Ironman and hundreds of other races around the world. Triathlon has become the fastest growing sport in the world: different disciplines, passion for sports, media attention and the struggle of each participant with himself make triathlon a balanced sport in all respects.
The International Triathlon Union was founded one year later, on 1 April, 1989, at the first ITU Congress in Avignon, France. A total of 30 National Federations attended the initial Congress and preparations were made for the sport’s first World Championships to be held in Avignon in August that year. At this meeting, the Olympic distance was set at a 1.5-km swim, 40-km bike and 10-km run, as it remains today and Les McDonald was elected ITU’s first president. More than 800 athletes representing 40 countries competed in the first World Triathlon Championships. Today World Triathlon includes 177 accredited federations of the world, including Kazakhstan.
In Kazakhstan, triathlon first became known in 1992, when pentathletes began to consider the possibility of changing disciplines and try their hand at a new sport. For more than 20 years, the development and popularization of triathlon has been concentrated in only two regions - in the Akmola region and in Shymkent. Only representatives of these regions played in the national team in the international arena, since in other regions of the country the triathlon did not even begin.
Separately, it is worth noting the role of the pupil of the Akmola school, Dmitry Gaag, in the formation of the Kazakhstan triathlon. Dmitry Gaag is the first and so far the only world champion (1999) to race under the flag of Kazakhstan. He participated in two Olympic Games - in Sydney (2000, 4th place) and in Athens (2004, 25th place). Kazakhstan at the Sydney Olympics was not represented by the Gaag alone, and Mikhail Kuznetsov, an athlete of the Shymkent triathlon school, also represented our country with him. Such athletes as Dmitry Smurnov, Daniil Sapunov, Pavel Artyushenko and Ekaterina Shatnaya also contributed to the formation of the Kazakh triathlon.
With the election of Karim Massimov at the head of the Kazakhstan Triathlon Federation in 2016, the triathlon began to spread en masse throughout Kazakhstan. Under the leadership of Karim Massimov, the Kazakhstan triathlon has gone the path of systematic and complex growth of development. In particular, the legal framework of the organization was improved, specialized committees were created that regulate the federation's activities, friendly relations were built with the main international triathlon organizations (World Triathlon, Asia Triathlon, Ironman (WTC)), accredited federations, branches and triathlon sections were opened on the basis of children's and youth schools of the Olympic reserve in ten regions. The TEMIRADAM Cup, which gave a great impetus to the development of mass amateur triathlon was developed. Representatives of the KTF are elected to the Executive Board and various committees of Asia Triathlon with the right to vote and formed by the Central Asian Triathlon Association (SATA), uniting the national federations of Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan.
The Kazakhstan Triathlon Federation held international competitions under the auspices of World Triathlon, Asia Triathlon, Ironman in Nur-Sultan, Almaty and Shymkent, republican triathlon events covered almost all regions of the country.
New names have entered the international arena to defend the Kazakh flag: Ayan Beisenbayev (Akmola region) won the silver medal of the Asian Games in Palembang, Arina Shulgina (Kostanay region) won the bronze medal of the Asian Championship in Kenju (2018). At the same continental championship, Daryn Konysbaev (Nur-Sultan) won gold in the U23 category, Meirlan Iskakov (Akmola region) won bronze, and Alexander Ten from Almaty won first place in the U15 athletes' category. At the 2021 continental championship in Hatsukaichi, Japan, under strict restrictions dictated by the COVID-19 pandemic, Kazakhstani athletes entered the top 10.
As of 2020, according to the annual World Triathlon National Federations' Survey, the Kazakhstan Triathlon Federation is in fourth place in the development of sports in Asia. The blue flag of the country and the names of Kazakhstani athletes are recognizable throughout the world. Our story continues at a new level and with new bright names.