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Turkmenistan: State Media Basks in Bogus Sports Triumph

Competitors spar in the 2016 Asian Sambo Championship in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan

By rights, juking the stats in sports should not be possible or, at the very least, easy. In Turkmenistan, however, statistics and facts all too often occupy different worlds.

State media has been in raptures about the outcome of the 2016 Asian Sambo Championship, a martial arts contest that concluded in Ashgabat this week with Turkmenistan coming top of the medals table. As the government’s Golden Era website reported, Turkmen fighters won 21 gold, 26 silver and 19 bronze medals.

Sambo is a form self-defense combat that draws on techniques from judo and wrestling and was developed in the 1930s in the Soviet Union and has since spread internationally.

With the the 2nd edition of the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games set to be held in Turkmenistan in 2017, this event has been seen as a good test of the country’s ability to both host and compete effectively in an international sporting contest.

“[The tournament] allowed us to determine our country’s readiness for the upcoming continental games that will involve sportsmen from 62 countries in Asia and Oceania,” the Golden Era noted.

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Turkmenistan: State Media Basks in Bogus Sports Triumph

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