Home2016Kazakhstan badminton embarks on a long journey for Olympic glory

Kazakhstan badminton embarks on a long journey for Olympic glory

Kazakhstan is world's largest landlocked country – equivalent to the size of Western Europe – and a dominant nation of Central Asia, known for having established a name in weightlifting, boxing, wrestling, cycling and also athletics at Olympics level.

However, Kazakhstan also wants to add badminton to the list of sports as medal winners on the international front. It is a long journey but Kazakhstan believes that the republic nation has the talent in the shuttle sport.

Dimitriy Panarin, Ikramzhan Yuldashev (boys) and Iya Gordeyeva, Yelizaveta Kharchenko (girls) are names that could be hogging the limelight in badminton tournaments at all levels in the coming future.

The Kazakhstan team led by coach Askar Ormanov is currently in Bangkok for the on-going 19th edition of the Badminton Asia Junior Championships.

Askar, who is also Badminton Asia's regional officer for the Central Asia , believes that the "long journey to Olympics" will bear fruit as the Kazakhstan Badminton Federation is leaving no stone unturned in its Olympic mission.

"Kazakhstan is well represented in other sports and has won Olympic medals but not in badminton. We want to change all that and add badminton to the list," said Askar, who is also the general-manager of the Kazakhstan Badminton Federation.

Two of the four players in Bangkok are Kazakhstan junior champions – Dimitriy (boys) and Yelizaveta (girls) – and Askar believes they are Olympic material.


Kazakhstan did not make any headway in the mixed team event or in the individual events in Bangkok but in Dimitriy's own words "the journey has just begun" for him and others. 
Askar said the first target is to qualify for the next Youth Olympics which is in Argentina in 2018 followed by the Summer Olympics in Tokyo in 2020.

"I am hooked on badminton probably because my mother (Natalya Panarina) was a badminton player herself," said Dimitriy, who partners Ikramzhan in the men's doubles and Iya in the mixed doubles.

"Badminton playing nations like China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, India plus some European nations are strong in the sport but Kazakhstan will soon be in the limelight, " said Askar,
"International exposure is vital and what we gained by playing in this junior tournament is learning experience in terms of skills and techniques," added Ikramzhan. 

The Kazakhstan team returned to Almaty on Thursday. 


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