The opening of the Great Silk Road STC expanded not only the tourist opportunities of Samarkand, but also brought it to the number of cities capable of hosting the big international sports competitions. The rowing canal, on the bank of which the center was built, has acquired a new look and infrastructure, which makes it possible to hold tournaments in various sports, including rowing, swimming, triathlon and others.
The first of them was the 10th Asian Open Water Swimming Championship. 45 athletes from 14 countries came together to determine the best swimmers at distances of 5 and 10 km, including: Kazakhstan, Bangladesh, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, Iraq, Japan, India, Oman, Tajikistan, Kuwait, Palestine, Iran, Jordan and Uzbekistan.
“I want to note the high level of organization of such a prestigious tournament and the great preparatory work that Uzbekistan has done,” said Taha Al-Kishri, Secretary General of the Asian Swimming Federation. “They created conditions that allowed the athletes to fully concentrate on preparing for the competitions and show their best results.”
On the first day, these were competitions in both men's and women's groups at a distance of 5 kilometers. In men, the winner was Japanese swimmer Taishin Minamide, ahead of his compatriot Taiki Nonaka and Cheng-Chi Cho, representing Chinese Taipei. Women had no equal Yukimi Moriyama (Japan), who won gold. The second and third places were taken by J Yin Nip (Hong Kong) and Maria Fedotova (Kazakhstan), respectively.
On the second day after the competition, according to the regulations, the participants had a day of rest, during which they prepared for the upcoming start, and also visited the ancient and forever young Samarkand, got acquainted with the sights and history of the city.
On the third and final day of the competition, the swimmers went to the start of the most difficult 10-kilometer distance, where in order to win, they had to demonstrate not only high technique and endurance, but also show their strong-willed qualities.
In men, the Japanese Taishin Minamide again was the first, and thus became the absolute winner of the championship. He shared the podium with Cheng-Chi Cho (Chinese Taipei) and Taiki Nonaka (Japan), who took second and third place, respectively. In women the best swimmer was Yu Wen Teng from Chinese Taipei. The representative of Hong Kong, J Yin Nip, and Maria Fedotova from Kazakhstan, who had already become winners in the 5 km swim, lost quite a bit to her.
“I am glad that I was able to win at both distances,” said two-time Asian champion Taishin Minamide. "I devoted a lot of time to training and the gold medals of the championship became the fruit of those trainings. Samarkand became a truly happy city for me.
The participants of the Asian Open Water Swimming Championship went home, and the rowing canal in the Great Silk Road STC, built by the Enter Engineering Group of Companies, is waiting for new starts. Undoubtedly, such tournaments contribute both to the widespread promotion of a healthy lifestyle, physical culture and sports, as well as to increasing the authority of Uzbekistan in the international arena as a great sports power.