Tajikistan has produced some of the world’s most outstanding Olympic athletes over the years. From distance runner Abdullo Nazarov to wrestler Artur Taymazov, Tajik athletes have consistently demonstrated their excellence on the world’s biggest stage.
With many strong sporting traditions, Tajikistan continues to produce world-class athletes, including those who have won medals at the Olympic Games.
In this article, we will take a look at some of the best Olympic athletes from Tajikistan and the incredible feats they have achieved.
1. Dilshod Nazarov
Dilshod Jamoliddinovich Nazarov is a celebrated athlete from Tajikistan who specializes in the hammer throw. He has had a long and successful career in international track and field competitions, most notably the Olympic Games.
In fact, he has competed in the Olympics on four separate occasions, with the most recent being the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
There, Nazarov achieved a momentous feat when he won the gold medal, the first gold medal in the history of the Olympic Games for Tajikistan.
This tremendous accomplishment was met with great joy and pride by his fellow countrymen, as it demonstrated the incredible potential of the Tajik athletes and the country’s commitment to excellence in sports.
Nazarov is now the celebrated face of Tajikistan’s athletic excellence, and his gold medal victory has taken a place in the nation’s history.
2. Mavzuna Chorieva
Mavzuna Chorieva is a boxer from Tajikistan who made history by becoming the first woman to win an Olympic medal for her country. At the 2012 Summer Olympics, she competed in the lightweight division and won a bronze medal.
This was a major milestone for her home country, as it was the first time a female athlete had ever earned a medal for Tajikistan in the Olympic Games. Mavzuna Chorieva’s bronze medal success was celebrated throughout her home country, with her achievements inspiring other women to follow in her footsteps and pursue their dreams.
It was a momentous event for Tajikistan, as it showed the world that the country was capable of producing world-class athletes who could compete on the global stage. Mavzuna Chorieva has since become a national hero in her home country, with her Olympic medal success serving as a source of inspiration and motivation for future generations.
She has since gone on to compete in other international competitions, further cementing her legacy as one of Tajikistan’s most successful athletes.
3. Yusup Abdusalomov
Yusup Rashidovich Abdusalamov is an accomplished wrestler who achieved great success in both his home countries of Russia and Tajikistan. He was born in the USSR, and went on to win a silver medal in wrestling at the 2008 Summer Olympics.
This is an impressive accomplishment, as it shows that he was able to compete and win at the highest level of international competition.
He has been involved in wrestling for most of his life, and has achieved success in several different tournaments in both Russia and Tajikistan. He has also become an inspiration for young wrestlers in both countries, and has been recognized for his achievements.
He is a shining example of what hard work and dedication can accomplish, and his success is a testament to the dedication and commitment of all athletes.
4. Shamil Aliev
Shamil Shamsudinovich Aliev is a retired amateur Tajik freestyle wrestler. He had a successful career in the sport, competing in the men’s light heavyweight category. Born in Tajikistan, Aliev began wrestling at a young age and quickly developed into a talented athlete.
He competed in various tournaments throughout his career, and eventually earned a place on the Tajik national wrestling team. Aliev was known for his technique and strength, and often used a combination of techniques to gain the upper hand in matches.
He was also known for his dedication to the sport and his ability to stay focused and motivated throughout his career. After retiring from amateur wrestling, Aliev continued to stay involved in the sport by coaching and mentoring younger wrestlers.
He was an important figure in the Tajik wrestling community and will always be remembered for his dedication and contributions to the sport.
5. Natalia Ivanova
Natalia Ivanovna Ivanova is a retired freestyle wrestler who competed in the women’s middleweight category. She was an amateur wrestler, meaning that she did not compete professionally, and she is of Russian-Tajikistani descent.
During her wrestling career, Natalia achieved a great deal of success, competing in tournaments and championships both domestically and internationally.
She was a formidable opponent, often besting her opponents with her technical skills and strength. Natalia Ivanovna Ivanova’s influence on the sport of freestyle wrestling is undeniable. She was a trailblazer, setting an example for the generations of athletes that followed her.
She showed the world that a female athlete from a minority background could compete with the best of them and make her mark on the world stage.
Her legacy is one of dedication, hard work, and bravery, and she will continue to be an inspiration to aspiring athletes all around the world.
6. Lidiya Karamchakova
Lidiya Karamchakova is a highly accomplished former amateur freestyle wrestler from Russia and Tajikistan. She competed in the women’s flyweight category, accumulating two medals at the European Championships prior to 2002.
After this, she was granted dual citizenship to represent Tajikistan in her wrestling career. Karamchakova was a pioneer in freestyle wrestling, making a name for herself in her respective weight class.
She proved to be a formidable opponent on the mat, having the ability to defeat her opponents and take home medals in European Championships.
Her success as a wrestler earned her the recognition of Tajikistan, leading to her being granted dual citizenship in 2002. Today, Karamchakova is a retired freestyle wrestler, but her legacy lives on as a pioneering figure in women’s wrestling.
She is remembered fondly for her accomplishments on the mat, and for her contributions to the sport. Her dual citizenship and her medals at the European Championships are a testament to her success in the sport, and to her dedication to the sport.
7. Vitaly Koryakin
Vitaly Koryakin is a male freestyle wrestler from Tajikistan who has competed in international competitions. In 2008, he participated in the Men’s Freestyle 60 kg event at the Summer Olympics. However, he was eliminated in the 1/8 final round by Kenichi Yumoto from Japan.
Prior to that, he had competed in the World Championship in 2007, where he achieved a 17th place finish. This is a remarkable achievement, as it shows Koryakin’s dedication and commitment to the sport of wrestling.
He has demonstrated his prowess and skill in international competitions and continues to strive for success.
8. Khasan Baroev
Khasan Makharbekovich Baroyev is a highly accomplished Russian Greco-Roman wrestler from Ossetia. He specializes in the 120 kg weightclass and has achieved significant success in his career.
Baroyev competed in the men’s Greco-Roman 120 kg event at the 2004 Summer Olympics and went on to win the gold medal, cementing his place as a top-level wrestler. He also took the gold medal at the 2003 and 2006 World Championships, making him a two-time world champion.
His impressive accomplishments have earned him great recognition in the wrestling world and his name will surely be remembered for years to come.
9. Andrey Abduvaliyev
Andrey Hakimovich Abduvaliyev is a former Olympic hammer thrower who has represented three different countries over the course of his career. Born in the Soviet Union, Abduvaliyev competed on the national level for the USSR until its dissolution in 1991.
At the 1992 Summer Olympics, he won a gold medal as a member of the Unified Team, a special team composed of athletes from the former Soviet Union. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Abduvaliyev had the opportunity to choose which country he wanted to represent.
He ultimately chose Tajikistan, and he competed for the country throughout the 1990s. He was able to win several medals in international competitions, including a gold medal at the 1993 Asian Championships.
In 1997, he chose to switch allegiance to Uzbekistan, where he continued to compete until his retirement in 2001. Throughout his career, Andrey Hakimovich Abduvaliyev was a successful athlete who represented three different countries with distinction.
He was able to win an Olympic gold medal for the Unified Team, and he achieved many successes while competing for Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
Abduvaliyev is an example of an athlete who was able to persevere through the dissolution of a country, and he is a true testament to the power of dedication and hard work.
10. Zaurbek Sokhiev
Zaurbek Sokhiev is a successful freestyle wrestler who has achieved a great amount of success in his career. He is a Russian-Ossetian male who represented Uzbekistan in international competitions.
He is a world champion in freestyle wrestling which shows his incredible talent and skill in the sport. He is also a participant in the Summer Olympic Games in Beijing and London, which is an even greater testament to his success and dedication to the sport.
In addition to his success in freestyle wrestling, Zaurbek Sokhiev is a Master of Sports of International Class in freestyle wrestling.
This is an incredibly high honor and shows that he has achieved outstanding success in his career and is one of the best freestyle wrestlers in the world.
11. Rustam Iskandari
Rustam Iskandari is a freestyle wrestler from Tajikistan who participated in the 2012 Summer Olympics. He was entered into the 96kg freestyle wrestling event, but was unable to secure a victory in the 1/8 finals against Valerii Andriitsev.
His Olympic journey was cut short when he was eliminated in the repechage round by Khetag Gazyumov. Iskandari is an experienced freestyle wrestler who had been competing since a young age.
He competed in the 2010 Asian Games, where he placed fourth, and was a bronze medalist at the 2011 Asian Wrestling Championships.
His performance in these competitions proved that he was a strong contender in the Olympic event. Despite his experience and success leading up to the 2012 Summer Olympics, Iskandari was unable to secure a victory in the 1/8 finals of the freestyle 96 kg event.
He was defeated by Valerii Andriitsev, who went on to win a silver medal in the event.
Iskandari then moved to the repechage round, but was eliminated by Khetag Gazyumov, who went on to win the gold medal. Iskandari was ultimately unsuccessful in his Olympic ambitions, but his strong performance in the lead up to the 2012 Summer Olympics demonstrates his skill and potential as a freestyle wrestler.
He has since continued to compete in international wrestling events, and is sure to be a formidable competitor in the future.
12. Somon Makhmadbekov
Somon Makhmadbekov is a judoka from Tajikistan. He has achieved great success in his sport, most notably claiming a bronze medal at the 2019 Judo Grand Slam Osaka in the -73kg weight category.
Makhmadbekov continued his success as he was chosen to compete in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, in the same weight category. This shows his dedication and hard work in judo has been recognised at an international level.
Ultimately, Makhmadbekov is an example of what can be achieved through hard work and dedication to a sport.
13. Andrei Drygin
Andrei Sergeyevich Drygin is a world-renowned alpine skier from Tajikistan. He comes from a Russian family that decided to emigrate to Tajikistan.
His fame in the skiing world is such that he was chosen to represent his country at the 2002 and 2006 Winter Olympics, carrying the flag for Tajikistan. He was the only representative of his country at both of these events, a testament to his success in alpine skiing.
Drygin has won several medals at national and international competitions. He was the first ever Tajikistani skier to win an alpine skiing medal at a major international event, winning gold in the giant slalom at the 2003 Asian Winter Games.
He has since gone on to compete at the highest level in alpine skiing, including the Winter Olympics and World Cup events. Drygin is seen as a champion for his country, inspiring many people to take up the sport.
He has become an icon for the Tajikistani skiing community and has achieved a great deal for his country in the world of alpine skiing.
His success is a testament to the dedication and commitment he has shown to the sport, and he is an example of what can be achieved when one puts in the hard work and dedication.
14. Rasul Boqiev
Rasul Boqiev is a highly accomplished judoka from Tajikistan who competes in the –73 kg category. He has achieved great success on the international stage, winning a bronze medal at the Judo World Championships.
He also made history by becoming the first ever Olympic medalist from Tajikistan with a bronze medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics. This medal was a major milestone for the country’s judo program and a source of great pride for Boqiev and his supporters.
Boqiev has since become an ambassador for judo in Tajikistan, inspiring the next generation of athletes to follow in his footsteps and strive for success.
15. Jakhon Qurbonov
Jahon Qurbonov is an amateur boxer from Tajikistan who had a very successful run at the 2006 Asian Games. Competing in the Light Heavyweight division, Qurbonov won his semifinal bout against Mehdi Ghorbani and advanced to the gold medal match.
Facing off against South Korea’s Hak Sung Song in the final, Qurbonov was able to secure the gold medal with a decisive margin of victory of 30-15.
His impressive performance at the 2006 Asian Games has left a lasting legacy, cementing his name in the amateur boxing world as a formidable opponent.
16. Shabbos Negmatulloev
Shabbos Negmatulloev is a professional boxer from Tajikistan. He is a light heavyweight boxer, and recently competed in the 2020 Summer Olympics. As a Tajikistani boxer, he was the first athlete from his country to ever compete in the prestigious event.
Negmatulloev had high hopes for the Olympics, but unfortunately did not make it past the preliminary rounds. Despite this, he still made history as the first Tajikistani boxer ever to compete in the Olympics, and his journey and performance will never be forgotten.
17. Anvar Yunusov
Anvar Yunusov is a professional boxer from Tajikistan who competes in the super featherweight division. He has achieved great success in his amateur career, winning a bronze medal at the 2011 Amateur World Championships and a gold medal at the 2011 Asian Championships.
Additionally, he qualified to compete in the 2008, 2012, and 2016 Olympics. His accomplishments demonstrate his dedication to the sport and his commitment to excellence.
Yunusov has been boxing since a young age and his impressive amateur record speaks to his talent and hard work. He is a formidable opponent in the ring and his impressive Olympic qualifications prove his ability to compete at the highest level.
His accomplishments are an inspiration to many and he is considered one of the top boxers from Tajikistan. Yunusov has a bright future ahead of him and is sure to continue to impress in the super featherweight division.
He has the potential to take his career to the next level and become a world champion. His commitment to the sport and his impressive record thus far shows that he is more than capable of achieving that goal.
18. Nikolay Noev
Nikolay Noev is an accomplished freestyle wrestler who was born in Yakut, Russia, but has since become a naturalized Tajikistani citizen. He had the opportunity to represent his new country in the 2012 Summer Olympics in the freestyle 55 kg event.
Unfortunately, he was unable to advance beyond the qualification round, having been defeated by Bulgarian wrestler Radoslav Velikov. Despite this setback, Noev has had a successful career as a freestyle wrestler, having won multiple medals in various international competitions.
He is an example of an athlete who was able to overcome a setback and continue to pursue his passion.
19. Oleksiy Cherednyk
Oleksiy Cherednyk is a former professional footballer who had a long and successful career representing the Soviet Union, Tajikistan, and Ukraine.
He has now retired from playing football and taken up a role as a scout for the Ukrainian club Shakhtar Donetsk. As a player, Cherednyk had a distinguished career in football.
He was part of the Soviet Union team in the 1988 UEFA European Championship, helping them reach the semi-finals. He also represented Tajikistan in the 1992 AFC Asian Cup, where they achieved a fourth-place finish.
He later joined Ukraine when they became independent, and was part of their team at the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Cherednyk’s experience and knowledge of the game make him a valuable asset as a scout for Shakhtar Donetsk.
He is responsible for identifying potential players for the club, as well as providing advice on tactical set-ups and team selection.
He clearly has a great eye for talent, as Shakhtar Donetsk have won the Ukrainian Premier League 13 times, the Ukrainian Cup 8 times, and the UEFA Cup once, since he joined the club. Oleksiy Valentynovich Cherednyk is a great example of someone who has had a successful playing career and then made a successful transition into a successful scouting role.
His experience and expertise have been invaluable to Shakhtar Donetsk, helping the club become one of the most successful in the region.
The best Olympic players in Tajikistan have consistently proved their worth in international competition. They have shown that their country is capable of producing some of the most talented athletes in the world.
Their dedication and hard work is a testament to the strength of their nation and its commitment to excellence in sport. As Tajikistan continues to develop its Olympic program, we can expect more success from its athletes in the future.