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Astana, Kazakhstan • 30 December, 2022 | 09:56

Top 9 Sports Achievements of Kazakhstan in 2022

Surprise victories put Kazakhstan on the radar in new sports disciplines

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Collage by QazMonitor
Collage by QazMonitor

This year Kazakhstan has shown an impressive range of sports achievements. We have expanded our horizons and gained new champions in disciplines outside our traditional favorites – boxing, cycling, and chess. QazMonitor presents a countdown of the nine most notable wins and a few honorable mentions. Check out the full list below.

9. Bodybuilding

On December 3, Astana hosted its first international bodybuilding tournament. Approved by NPC, the competition is a ticket for the professional league, where the lucky winners are crowned the coveted Mr.Olympia and Ms.Olympia titles.

The show in the capital city gathered over 500 aspiring athletes from all over the world, including Aisha Kaipova, whose story inspires us to work relentlessly towards our dreams.

Instagram:, Invictus
Instagram:, Invictus

8. Table Tennis

Alan Kurmangaliyev has become a household name among table tennis fans. The young athlete demonstrated incredible prowess and skill time and time again, earning himself first place at major tournaments in Sweden and Portugal.

7. Biathlon

When the Beijing Paralympics started, Alexander Gerlitz vowed not to let Team Kazakhstan go home from the Olympic games empty-handed again. He won the bronze and only medal of the Games in biathlon, earning him the award for the Best Athlete of the Year in winter sports. A well-deserved title.

National Paralympic Committee of Kazakhstan
National Paralympic Committee of Kazakhstan

6. Cybersports

Kazakh cyber athletes showed they can hold their own against cybersport goliaths, like South Korea, the USA, and Germany.

The 27th season of IEM for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) in Dallas saw Abay “HObbit” Khassenov and his team Cloud9 sweep their opponents from ENCE with a remarkable 3:0. As they continued to fight their way to the top, the team took down S-tier teams, like FaZe Clan and BIG.

It didn’t stop there. IEM Rio Major 2022 also witnessed the masterful performance of Alexey “Qikert” Golubev, who along with his team Outsiders, won first place and secured their position for the ultimate competition in the world of CS:GO – IEM Katowice 2023.

Back home, the Kazakh national team for FIFAe showed great potential with their fresh debut at the World Cup 2022. 

HLTV, GettyImages
HLTV, GettyImages

5. Steeplechase

Kenyan-born runner Norah Jeruto became the first ever Kazakh athlete to win gold at the World Athletics Championships. Running through a 3,000-meter steeplechase track, Norah took 8 minutes 53.02 seconds to get to the finish line, setting the world’s third-fastest time in history.

Gettyimages/Hannah Peters
Gettyimages/Hannah Peters

4. Chess

Kazakhstan’s women’s chess team were particularly strong this year thanks to an impressive line-up. The results of the 44th Chess Olympiad in Chennai, India stood as a testament to their mental prowess when the team placed 8th in the overall ranking.

Team captain Zhansaya Abdumalik was recognized as the third strongest player among the competition’s 2,000 participants.

Her younger teammate Bibisara Assaubayeva received the title of the best Asian chess player. Earlier, she broke the Guinness Record for being the youngest world champion in blitz among women at the age of 17.

Saying that chess is becoming one of Kazakhstan’s strong suits wouldn’t be an exaggeration. The country is currently hosting the World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championships in Almaty, where elite players, like Magnus Carlsen, Hikaru Nakamura, and Hans Niemann, are vying for the main prize.

Instagram: @zhansaya_abdumalik, @bibisarachess
Instagram: @zhansaya_abdumalik, @bibisarachess

Honorable mentions

Before we get to the top 3 on our list, we would like to give a shoutout to Kazakh athletes who showed incredible performances at the international championships this year.

The fall and winter seasons of 2022 have been a success for Kazakh speed skating, with a series of gold and silver medals won at the Four Continents Speed Skating tournament in Canada.

Speaking of races, competitions in Spain, Australia, and Tajikistan were a blast for cycling fans in Kazakhstan, who saw their athletes coming home from each tournament with gold around their neck.

Kazakh martial artists did not fail to impress either with victories, be that jiu jitsu, para taekwondo, or judo.

On a completely different note, Kazakh gymnasts made sure to grab a medal in every single category in the World Aesthetic Group Gymnastics Championships.

3. Boxing and MMA

Who hasn’t heard of Shavkat Rakhmonov? The undefeated MMA star showed an impressive start to his season with UFC (ranking tenth).

Meanwhile, Janibek Alimkhanuly, who proudly calls himself “Qazaq Style”, has recently earned the main WBO title and jumped to 4th place in the ESPN ranking.

We also can’t move on without mentioning the national boxing team which has been ranked third by the International Boxing Association, following behind the U.S. and Brazil.

UFC Russia, Instagram:@janibek_alimkhanuly
UFC Russia, Instagram:@janibek_alimkhanuly

2. Football

2022 has been an amazing year for football, for several reasons beside the World Cup in Qatar. Kazakhstan made football history when the national team scored a remarkable 2:1 win over Belarus in the group stage of the UEFA Nations League. The victory has secured our participation in the 2024–2025 League B for the first time.

In the next match, the Kazakh football team became the leader of Group C, earning a total of 13 points after defeating Slovakia.

1. Tennis

This year brought a lot of firsts for our country, and tennis was arguably among the biggest wins. Elena Rybakina left everyone stunned after her nerve-wracking battle against the world’s No. 2 player, Ons Jabeur, led to her claiming the title of the Wimbledon champion.

Though the tennis player had a relatively quiet season post Wimbledon, she recently made a surprising comeback after emerging in first place at the World Tennis League exhibition tournament in Dubai. She defeated the current No. 1 player Iga Świątek, No.5 player Aryna Sabalenka, and two-time Grand Slam champion Caroline Garcia.


In the overall rankings, Kazakhstan’s women’s tennis team entered the top-10 world rankings for the first time, beating teams from Russia, Italy and Germany, among others.

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