By Caoilte de Barra
It’s been quite the week for the Tajikistan Mixed Martial Arts Federation (TAJMMAF). First, they welcomed IMMAF Director of Development Andrew Moshanov for a Youth MMA coaching course. Then held their first-ever set of National Youth Championships.
The three-day competition was held from May 20-22 in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. 364 athletes from over 50 clubs registered and competed in the championships across three age categories (12-13, 14-15, 16-17). Athletes competed for the opportunity to secure a spot on the Tajikistan national team that will compete at the 2022 IMMAF Youth Championships later this year.
Each day of the competition was live-streamed on the TAJMMAF YouTube channel and is available to watch back here.
In their 2021 IMMAF Youth World Championships appearance, Tajikistan sent a team of five athletes, and four went onto podium position. Khurshed Qudratov was the sole World gold medalist for Tajikistan after winning six bouts on the bounce. Unfortunately, Qudratov was unable to compete on the national stage due to an injury. However, his fellow teammates from the Worlds were in action, and three of the four took home national medals.
Those who will travel to represent Tajikistan at the Youth World Championships will receive full funding for their trip, with twenty-five athletes anticipated to compete. TAJMMAF also has the support of the National Olympic Committee, which are also behind the idea of hosting international events such as the Asian Championships.
After spending a week in Tajikistan, Andrew Moshanov was blown away by what he saw.
“I’ve witnessed incredible skills, great drive and passion. Moreover, I visited a training session in one of the local clubs, where more skilled and talented people were training nonstop for a couple of wars, so it was a really incredible three days for me.”
President of the federation, Davron Juraev, was also pleased with the event and has big plans for TAJMMAF. He said:
“I think next year, the quality and quantity will rise. We are working hard as always. We are already trying to participate in all the IMMAF Championships, and maybe next year we would be happy to work on organising some Championships in Central Asia.”