25 Greatest Kyrgyzstan Wrestlers in History

Liam Rooney

Kyrgyzstan has made its mark in the world of wrestling with its formidable wrestlers. Over the years, Kyrgyzstan has produced some of the best wrestlers in the world, including Olympic champions, world champions, and other accomplished athletes.

The country’s wrestling program has been a source of national pride and served as an inspiration to countless young athletes. In this article, we will look at some of the best wrestlers from Kyrgyzstan and discuss their accomplishments and contributions to the sport.

1. Akzhol Makhmudov

Akzhol Makhamadzhanovich Makhmudov is a Kyrgyzstani Greco-Roman wrestler who has achieved great success in his discipline. At the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, he won a silver medal in the 77 kg event.

His impressive showings did not stop there; in 2022, he won the gold medal in the 77 kg event at the World Wrestling Championships held in Belgrade, Serbia. This was a remarkable accomplishment and a testament to Makhmudov’s skill and determination.

He has demonstrated that he is one of the best Greco-Roman wrestlers in the world and that success is within reach for him. His impressive performance has earned him much praise and admiration from his peers and fans alike.

2. Raatbek Sanatbayev

Raatbek Sanatbayev was a Kyrgyz Greco-Roman wrestler who made history by competing in two Summer Olympics. He competed in the Men’s Greco-Roman 82 kg at the 1996 Summer Olympics and then went on to compete in the Men’s Greco-Roman 85 kg at the 2000 Summer Olympics.

This is quite an impressive achievement as it shows his commitment to the sport and his dedication to his training. He was clearly a very talented wrestler who was able to adapt to different weight classes and remain competitive.

Sanatbayev’s achievements are especially notable in the Kyrgyz wrestling community, as his success has inspired countless wrestlers to follow in his footsteps. His legacy as a Greco-Roman wrestler will remain long after he has left the sport.

3. Aisuluu Tynybekova

Aisuluu Tynybekova is a prominent figure in the world of wrestling, particularly in the discipline of freestyle wrestling. She is from Kyrgyzstan and made history by becoming the first woman to represent her country in the Olympics.

This occurred in 2012 when she competed in the women’s 63 kg event at the 2012 Summer Olympics. At the 2020 Summer Olympics held in Tokyo, Japan, Tynybekova was back in the Olympic spotlight.

She participated in the women’s 62 kg event and won a silver medal, further cementing her place in the history of Kyrgyzstan’s sporting achievements.

Her success in the Olympics has also inspired many other young female athletes in Kyrgyzstan to take up the sport of wrestling and strive for excellence.

4. Zholaman Sharshenbekov

Zholaman Sharshenbekov is an accomplished Kyrgyz Greco-Roman wrestler.

He has won multiple medals in international competitions, including three medals at the World Wrestling Championships and three medals at the Asian Wrestling Championships, with one gold medal in each competition.

His success in Greco-Roman wrestling has earned him recognition and respect among his peers and competitors. Sharshenbekov is a highly decorated wrestler, having achieved a great deal of success in the world of Greco-Roman wrestling.

He has won medals in many prestigious international tournaments, including the World Wrestling Championships and the Asian Wrestling Championships. His impressive medal haul includes three medals in each competition, with one gold medal in each.

Sharshenbekov is a dedicated athlete and his success is a testament to his hard work and dedication. He has overcome many obstacles to become one of the best Greco-Roman wrestlers in the world.

His impressive achievements have earned him the respect and admiration of his peers and competitors. Overall, Zholaman Sharshenbekov is a remarkable Kyrgyz Greco-Roman wrestler who has achieved tremendous success in international competitions.

His impressive medal haul, which includes three gold medals, is a testament to his hard work and dedication. He has earned the respect and admiration of the wrestling community for his accomplishments.

5. Ernazar Akmataliev

Ernazar Akmataliev is a talented wrestler from Kyrgyzstan. He recently achieved great success in the 2021 U23 World Wrestling Championships, taking home the gold medal in the 70 kg event held in Belgrade, Serbia.

This was no small feat, as the competition was fierce and featured some of the best wrestlers in the world. Akmataliev also competed in the 2020 Summer Olympics in the men’s freestyle 65 kg event.

Although he put up a good fight, he was ultimately defeated by Bajrang Punia in the first match. Despite this loss, Akmataliev has still proven to be an incredibly talented wrestler, and his success at the 2021 U23 World Wrestling Championships is a testament to that.

He is sure to be a successful athlete in the years to come.

6. Uzur Dzhuzupbekov

Uzur Dzhuzupbekov is a champion Greco-Roman wrestler from Kyrgyzstan. He achieved the highest accolade in his sport when he won the gold medal in the men’s 97 kg event at the 2019 Asian Wrestling Championships held in Xi’an, China.

This was a crowning moment for Uzur, who had achieved previous success at the Asian Games where he won a bronze medal.

In addition to this, he is a two-time silver medalist at the Islamic Solidarity Games, showing that he is a consistent performer at the highest level of competition.

He is an inspiration to aspiring wrestlers in Kyrgyzstan and his success on the international stage is a source of great pride for his country.

7. Ulukbek Zholdoshbekov

Ulukbek Zholdoshbekov is a freestyle wrestler from Kyrgyzstan. He has achieved great success in his sport, being particularly successful at the 2020 Asian Wrestling Championships in New Delhi, India. At the Championships, he competed in the 61 kg event and won the gold medal.

This was a tremendous achievement, not only for Ulukbek but for his entire nation. His win was a result of his hard work, dedication, and talent, making him a true champion in the world of freestyle wrestling.

Ulukbek’s success is a testament to the strength of Kyrgyzstan’s wrestling program, and his gold medal will serve as an inspiration to other aspiring wrestlers in the country.

8. Arsalan Budazhapov

Arsalan Budazhapov is a talented athlete with a remarkable career. He is a freestyle wrestler hailing from Kyrgyzstani, a country in Central Asia.

Prior to his World Wrestling Championships success in 2022, Arsalan was already a two-time medalist at the Asian Wrestling Championships, having won one gold and one bronze.

At the 2021 World Wrestling Championships held in Belgrade, Serbia, Arsalan won a bronze medal in the men’s 79 kg event. This was a significant achievement, and it highlights Arsalan’s dedication to the sport and his commitment to excellence.

Despite his young age, Arsalan has already demonstrated a great deal of potential and has shown that he will be a force to be reckoned with on the international stage.

9. Kanatbek Begaliev

Kanatbek Kubatovich Begaliev is a talented wrestler from Kyrgyzstan who achieved success at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China. Begaliev won a silver medal in the Men’s Greco-Roman 66 kg weight class.

This marked a significant improvement from his 11th-place finish at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece. In response to his success in 2004, Begaliev was invited to join the Kazakh national wrestling team.

He accepted the invitation and subsequently became a citizen of Kazakhstan. This move allowed him to continue competing in international wrestling competitions such as the Olympics.

As a member of the Kazakh team, he was able to put in the hard work and training needed to become a medalist in Beijing.

10. Amantur Ismailov

Amantur Ismailov is a Greco-Roman wrestler from Kyrgyzstan. He has had an impressive career since his first major win in 2018, where he won a bronze medal in the 67kg event at the Asian Games held in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Since then, Ismailov has gone on to win an even bigger accolade at the 2022 World Wrestling Championships held in Belgrad, Serbia, where he won a bronze medal. Ismailov is an incredible athlete and his medals are a testament to his hard work and dedication to the sport.

He is a true inspiration to many and a reminder of the possibilities we can achieve if we put in the effort.

11. Uran Kalilov

Uran Kalilov is a former amateur Greco-Roman wrestler from Kyrgyzstan. He competed in the men’s featherweight category, which is the lightest weight class for male wrestlers. Kalilov was born in Kyrgyzstan and began training in Greco-Roman wrestling as a teenager.

He quickly became a skilled wrestler and was soon competing at the highest levels. During his amateur career, Kalilov participated in numerous international tournaments, including the Asian Championships and the World Cup.

He also competed in the Olympic Games on two occasions, representing his home country of Kyrgyzstan. Throughout his career, Kalilov was known for his technical prowess and physical strength, which he used to great success in the ring.

After retiring from amateur wrestling, Kalilov has continued to stay active in the wrestling community through coaching and mentoring young wrestlers.

12. Daniyar Kobonov

Daniar Kobonov is an accomplished Greco-Roman wrestler from Kyrgyzstan. He is a two-time Olympian, having competed in both the 2004 and 2012 Olympic Games. During the 2004 Olympics, he was one of the top wrestlers in his weight class, earning a place in the quarterfinals.

Unfortunately, he was unable to secure a medal that year. However, eight years later, he had a chance to make his mark on the world stage once again. At the 2012 Olympics, Kobonov was determined to make a better showing.

He trained harder than ever before, and his dedication paid off. He earned a spot in the finals, where he fought valiantly.

He was ultimately unable to secure a medal, but he was still able to put his name in the history books as one of the best Greco-Roman wrestlers from Kyrgyzstan. Despite not winning a medal, Daniar Kobonov has become a role model in Kyrgyzstan.

He has shown that hard work and dedication can lead to success, even in the face of adversity. His story is an inspiring one, and he is sure to be remembered as a great athlete for many years to come.

13. Arsen Eraliev

Arsen Eraliev is a Kyrgyzstani Greco-Roman wrestler who competed in the 2012 Summer Olympics in the Greco-Roman 55 kg event. Unfortunately, his Olympic journey ended in the 1/8 finals, where he was defeated by Iranian wrestler Hamid Sourian.

In the repechage round, he was eliminated by Hungarian wrestler Péter Módos. Eraliev is a decorated athlete, having won multiple medals in various international competitions, such as the Asian Championships in 2011 and the World Cup in 2013.

He has also won several medals in the Asian Games, including a gold medal in 2010. Despite his success in other competitions, his Olympic dream was cut short by his defeats in the 1/8 finals and the repechage round.

Eraliev continues to be a major figure in Kyrgyzstani and international wrestling. He is seen as an inspiration to aspiring Greco-Roman wrestlers, and his dedication to the sport has earned him respect from athletes and fans alike.

Though his Olympic career ended prematurely, his legacy in the sport will remain for years to come.

14. Ulan Nadyrbek Uulu

Ulan Nadyrbek Uulu is an amateur Kyrgyz freestyle wrestler. He competed in the lightweight men’s category, and he achieved great success in the sport. At the 2002 Asian Games held in Busan, South Korea, Uulu won a silver medal in the 60-kg division.

This impressive feat earned him a place on the Kyrgyzstan team at the 2004 Summer Olympics. Uulu’s success at the Asian Games was a tremendous achievement and was a testament to the hard work and dedication he put into his training.

His performance at the Olympics showed that he was a serious contender in the sport, and his success has inspired many athletes both in and outside of Kyrgyzstan.

Uulu’s impact on the sport of freestyle wrestling cannot be understated, and he will be remembered as one of the great Kyrgyz wrestlers of all time.

15. Janarbek Kenjeev

Janarbek Kenjeev is an impressive example of a Greco-Roman wrestler from Kyrgyzstan. He has been active in the sport since a young age and has achieved great success in the men’s light heavyweight category.

Greco-Roman wrestling is a form of wrestling that is practiced worldwide and is one of the oldest competitive sports in existence.

It is a form of wrestling that is quite different from its freestyle counterpart, as it focuses on throws and holds rather than on the ground, with the aim of lifting and throwing your opponent to the ground. Janarbek Kenjeev has been a force to be reckoned with in this style of wrestling.

He has achieved great success in the men’s light heavyweight category, competing in several national and international tournaments.

In addition to competing at a high level, he has also worked to help develop the sport in Kyrgyzstan, hosting camps and clinics to teach the fundamentals of Greco-Roman wrestling.

He has been an important figure in the development of the sport in his home country as well as in the international wrestling community.

16. Ruslan Tyumenbayev

Ruslan Tyumenbayev is a Kyrgyz wrestler who had a remarkable achievement at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. He won a bronze medal in the Men’s Greco-Roman 60 kg event.

This accomplishment is a great source of pride for the Kyrgyz people because it is the first Olympic medal achieved by a Kyrgyz athlete. Tyumenbayev is a very talented athlete and his success is a result of his hard work and dedication to his sport.

He has trained vigorously for many years and has earned a number of prestigious awards and honors.

In 2008, he was honored as the National Greco-Roman Wrestling champion of Kyrgyzstan and in 2009 he won a silver medal at the World Greco-Roman Wrestling Championships in Herning, Denmark.

The bronze medal that Tyumenbayev won at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing is a testament to his dedication and skill as an athlete.

He has shown that it is possible to succeed at the highest level of competition and has set a great example for future generations of Kyrgyz athletes.

His success serves as an inspiration to many Kyrgyz people and a reminder that with hard work and determination, anything is possible.

17. Valentina Shevchenko

Valentina Anatolievna Shevchenko is a world-renowned athlete who has achieved success in multiple martial arts disciplines. She is a native of Kyrgyzstan and Peru and has competed in both Muay Thai and mixed martial arts (MMA).

She is the reigning UFC Women’s Flyweight Champion and is one of the most successful female fighters in the world. Shevchenko began her martial arts career in her native Kyrgyzstan, training in the traditional Muay Thai style.

She has since become a world-class fighter and has competed in Muay Thai tournaments around the world. She has also competed in mixed martial arts, having fought in promotions such as Strikeforce and the UFC.

She is currently the UFC Women’s Flyweight Champion, having won the title in December 2018 with a unanimous decision victory over Joanna Jedrzejczyk. Shevchenko is known for her aggressive, high-pressure style of fighting.

She is also an excellent technician, utilizing her Muay Thai skills to control her opponents. She is a well-rounded mixed martial artist, possessing strong stand-up and ground skills.

She is considered one of the top female fighters in the world and is a role model for many aspiring female fighters.

18. Ruslan Tsarev

Ruslan Tsarev is a Russian Greco-Roman wrestler from Kyrgyzstan. He is a very accomplished athlete, having competed at the 2016 Olympics as well as winning multiple medals at the Asian Championships. At the 2016 Olympics, he was eliminated in the round of 16 by Tarek Benaissa.

Despite this, he had a successful run at the Asian Championships, where he won a gold, a silver, and a bronze medal from 2014 to 2016. This is a remarkable achievement, as it shows that he is a very talented and versatile wrestler.

He is a great example of perseverance and dedication to his sport, as he continues to strive for success even after a disappointing Olympic run.

19. Atabek Azisbekov

Atabek Azisbekov is a Greco-Roman wrestler from Kyrgyzstan who has achieved much success in the sport. He has won two silver medals at the Asian Championships and was chosen to represent Kyrgyzstan at the 2020 Summer Olympics in the men’s Greco-Roman 87 kg weight class.

He is a highly skilled and experienced wrestler, as demonstrated by his participation in the 2022 World Wrestling Championships held in Belgrade, Serbia.

Azisbekov is a determined and motivated wrestler, always looking to improve and reach the highest level of success in his sport.

His achievements are a testament to his commitment to excelling in Greco-Roman wrestling and serve as an inspiration to aspiring wrestlers from Kyrgyzstan.

20. Aleksey Krupnyakov

Aleksey Krupnyakov is a male freestyle wrestler from Kyrgyzstan. He is a two-time Olympian, having competed in the 2004 and 2008 Summer Olympics. Krupnyakov was successful in his wrestling career, as he won a bronze medal at the 2010 Wrestling World Championships.

Unfortunately, his success was short-lived as his medal was stripped away due to a positive drug test for steroids. This decision highlights the strict policies in place to ensure a level playing field and fair competition for athletes.

Despite the setback, Krupnyakov has continued to pursue his career in wrestling and remains an admirable competitor in the sport.

21. Mariya Pinigina

Mariya Dzhumabaevna Pinigina was an incredibly talented Olympic athlete who specialized in the 400 meters. She trained at the Spartak club in Kyiv, Ukraine, and proudly represented the Soviet Union in the international arena.

During her career, she won numerous medals and championships, making her a household name in the sports world. She was not only a skilled athlete but also a role model for aspiring athletes, inspiring them to reach their full potential.

Her unwavering commitment to her sport was clearly demonstrated in her performances, as she pushed her limits and achieved remarkable results.

Mariya Dzhumabaevna Pinigina will forever be remembered as one of the greatest Olympic athletes of all time and an inspiring example for generations to come.

22. Arsen Gitinov

Arsen Gitinov is a talented male freestyle wrestler who has dual citizenship in both Russia and Kyrgyzstan. He is originally from Dagestan and holds records for his accomplishments in the sport. In 2008, Gitinov competed in the Men’s freestyle 74 kg at the Summer Olympics.

He proved his skill by defeating Krystian Brzozowski and Ibrahim Aldatov in the preliminary rounds. Unfortunately, he was eliminated in the quarterfinals by Kiril Terziev.

Despite this setback, Gitinov displayed his determination and strength throughout the competition and has continued to be a successful athlete in the years since. He is an inspiration to many aspiring wrestlers, showing that hard work and dedication can go a long way.

23. Yury Mildzihov

Yury Mildzihov was an impressive athlete who competed in the sport of freestyle wrestling. Born in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, he had Russian roots and was an amateur competitor. He was one of the larger athletes in his sport, competing in the super heavyweight category.

Yury was a dedicated wrestler who worked hard to improve his skills. He was known for his strength and power, and he had a great passion for the sport. He was also a leader in his sport, setting an example for other athletes to follow.

Despite his size, he had great agility and speed, allowing him to make quick moves and take opponents by surprise. Yury was an inspiring figure in the wrestling community, and he was respected by his peers.

He was a role model for young athletes who wanted to become great wrestlers. He was a humble person who believed that everyone should have the opportunity to compete in the sport, regardless of their background.

Yury was an important figure in the development of wrestling in Kyrgyzstan. He worked to promote the sport and to create opportunities for other athletes to compete.

He was also involved in the development of training facilities in the country, helping to ensure that aspiring wrestlers could hone their skills. Yury Mildzihov was an outstanding athlete who made a lasting impact on the sport of freestyle wrestling.

His dedication and passion for the sport will be remembered by generations of wrestlers to come.

24. Kanybek Zholchubekov

Kanybek Zholchubekov is a Greco-Roman wrestler from Kyrgyzstan.

He had a major success in 2018 when he won the silver medal in the men’s 60 kg event at the 2018 Asian Games, which were held in Jakarta, Indonesia. In 2019, Zholchubekov continued to strive for excellence in the sport and took part in the World Wrestling Championships, which were held in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan.

He competed in the 60 kg event at the Championships, showing his dedication to the sport and his commitment to pushing the boundaries of his own abilities. Kanybek Zholchubekov is a prime example of a hardworking athlete who has achieved success through dedication and determination.

His accomplishments show that with the right attitude and perseverance, even the most difficult of goals can be accomplished. He stands as an inspiration to other aspiring wrestlers and serves as a reminder that with hard work, anything is possible.

25. Gennady Chkhaidze

Gennady Chkhaidze is an accomplished former amateur wrestler from Georgia. He competed in Greco-Roman wrestling, a type of wrestling that dates back to the ancient Olympics.

Chkhaidze was in the heavyweight category, the heaviest and most prestigious of all wrestling weight classes.

He competed against some of the toughest and most experienced wrestlers in the world. Throughout his career, Chkhaidze demonstrated a great level of skill and determination. He was a strong competitor, always striving to be the best he could be.

He was able to stand out in the heavyweight division, a testament to his hard work and dedication to the sport. Chkhaidze is now retired, but his legacy lives on. He set an example for many aspiring wrestlers, showing them the importance of hard work and dedication.

His achievements are a source of inspiration for those who wish to follow in his footsteps.

Conclusion

Kyrgyzstan is home to some of the best wrestling players in the world. The wrestlers of Kyrgyzstan have a long and proud tradition of excellence in the sport, and they consistently rank among the best in the world.

The country’s wrestlers have won multiple medals in both the Olympics and other international competitions. It is clear that Kyrgyzstan has a bright future in wrestling, and its wrestlers will continue to dominate the sport for many years to come.

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Liam Rooney

Recent Florida International University graduate with a passion for journalism and a focus on sports, especially in wrestling. Recognized with a 3rd place award in the Society of Professional Journalist's Green Eyeshade awards for outstanding coverage of FIU men's soccer. Experienced in local news, breaking stories, and community reporting from an internship at the Palm Beach Post. Hosted and produced a radio show, adept at creating video packages. Eager to embrace diverse journalistic opportunities beyond sports, bringing a versatile skill set and a relentless drive for excellence to the field.