A 15-year-old Zhibek Kulymbetova won the World Championship – 2021 Grappling/Grappling-GI, which took place in Moscow on Dec. 11-12.
Grappling is a hand-to-hand sport that includes gripping or seizing the opponent and wrestling. Zhibek fought with the Russian girl in the “up to 44 kilograms” section in the final. She won in a tense fight with a score of 8:4.
“All rivals were very strong and the final fight was particularly hard. For a moment, I almost strangled my rival, but she managed to escape from a stifling technique. I fought to the last moment and managed to win, so I am very happy.”
At the age of 12, Zhibek became a nationally ranked player and twice world champion in jiu-jitsu. Recently, she became a four-time world jiu-jitsu champion in Abu Dhabi.
"When I first went to the gym, I was the only girl. So I had to fight with the boys. Honestly, there was no fear. It is very interesting to fight with them because they are physically stronger. I gained a lot of experience competing with boys."
Kulymbetova is currently training at the Sagadat batyr sports club named after Sagadat Nurmagambetov, a prominent Kazakh commander and First Kazakh Minister of Defense. She also performs on behalf of children and youth’s sports schools in the Ile district of the Almaty region.
"My dream is to raise the blue flag and become a multiple champion. I also plan to break the team at the Asian Games. I want to prove to the world that Kazakh girls are strong.”