4 Years After ‘Sweeping’ Mats During Wrestling World Championship Matches, Kazakhstan’s 19YO Prodigy Clinches Gold

Published 09/20/2023, 11:18 AM EDT

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Over the years, many staunch wrestlers from Kazakhstan have tried to clinch gold for their country. Daulet Niyazbekov, who was only a step away from creating history, faced defeat by losing his freestyle world championship title to Gadzhimurad Rashidov in 2019. However, after years of struggle and disappointment, the country witnessed a new talent upholding its glory in the wrestling arena.

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The 19-year-old, after sweeping his competitor on the mat, became Kazakhstan’s first freestyle wrestling world champion. Interestingly, amid this remarkable success on the mats, a 4-year-old video of the athlete has gone viral on social media. The video highlighting the humble beginnings of the soaring star has left the fans in awe.

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On September 20, United World Wrestling posted a video that has made waves in the wrestling community. It was of a 2019 match between Gadzhimurad Rashidov and Daulet Niyazbekov. The video shows a volunteering clearing the mat between the match. The caption of the video says, “The Volunteer Cleaning the mat during the 2019 World Championships in Astana is Rizabek AITMUKHAN”. If the name seems unfamiliar, let’s spill the beans. Aitmukhan just became Kazakhstan’s first-ever Freestyle world champion in the Wrestling World Championships 2023!

Highlighting the progress of the 19-year-old, the tweet added, “Yesterday, that volunteer, 19-year-old Aitmukhan, became Kazakhstan’s first-ever freestyle event champion.” The video came after the wrestler grabbed the gold at the World Championship in the 92 kg final in Belgrade, Serbia. On way Aitmukhan defeated Osman Nurmagomedov, an Azerbaijani freestyle wrestler, by settling the score at 6-2. At the beginning of the match, the Aitmukhan faced a setback by being down by 2 points. However, the wrestler bounced back stronger, pushing Nurmagomedov out of bounds and winning the event with a huge score difference.

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Intriguingly, before creating history this year, the 19-year-old who did not share a deep passion for the sport before, beat Akturk (11-0) in the quarterfinals and Miriani Maisuradze (8-1) in the semifinals to win his title. Now the wrestler has decided to step up his goals and move towards a new class of weight to represent his country at the Olympics. In an interview, Aitmukhan announced his plans to the media.

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Aitmukhan’s plans for his future in wrestling

After creating history, 19-year-old Aitmukhan has decided to move to a new weight class. According to the athlete, “We’ve decided that it’s the last world championship in this weight class; next year I’ll move up to the Olympic weight of 97 kg.” I will try to become an Olympic champion.” Moreover, while talking about the importance of this win, the 19-year-old told the media “This victory is the biggest in my life. I’ve been working towards this win for years”. The athlete dedicated this staunch achievement to his country and his grandmother, who passed away three years ago.

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From volunteering to clean mats to claiming gold, Rizabek Aitmukhan’s journey is truly inspirational. As the wrestler moves up the weight category to compete in the Olympics, fans will sure await more stellar displays from him.

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Written by:

Paras Jan

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Paras Haji is a US Sports author at Essentially Sports. She began her professional journey as a content and news publisher, which gave her valuable experience in the sports media industry. Her passion for all things Olympics, and dedication to keeping track of every competitive performance, have earned her recognition for handing over captivating articles.
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Edited by:

BHUJAYA RAY CHOWDHURY

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