The first summer weekend brought a diverse mix of results for Kazakh athletes. While Elzhanna Taniyeva shined brightly at the Asian Gymnastics Championships in Manila, propelling the national team to a commendable third place with her mastery on display, the national tennis team experienced a few setbacks, along with some noteworthy career-first achievements.
Find out more information about this and other sports achievements in the QazMonitor's list below.
Elzhana Taniyeva showcases her skill at the Asian Championships in Manila
Elzhana Taniyeva finished the 2023 Asian Gymnastics Championships in Manila with three silver and two bronze medals.
From May 31 to June 3, athletes from all across Asia and Oceania gathered in the capital of the Philippines to compete for the title of the ultimate champion.
Our country participated in both the Senior and Junior competitions, with Elzhana Taniyeva consistently securing a place in the top three in all individual exercise categories. She won two silver medals in the hoop and ribbon events, and two bronze medals for the exercises with the clubs and the ball.
In the individual all-around score, Taniyeva earned second place with 128.350 points, just behind Uzbekistan's Takhmina Ikromova with 132.200 points, while maintaining a significant lead over China's Wang Zilu, who scored 121.800.
In the team standings, Kazakhstan secured third place with a total of fourteen medals, trailing behind Uzbekistan and China but surpassing Japan and the Kyrgyz Republic.
Beibit Zhukayev loses his first Challenger finals in a closely contested match
Beibit Zhukayev lost in the finals of the 2023 Little Rock Challenger in the US to Estonia's Mark Lajal with a score of 4:6, 5:7.
Being part of the 2023 ATP Challenger Tour, the Little Rock tournament posed a challenge for the Kazakh tennis player. Zhukayev had to surpass the world No. 187, Nicolas Moreno de Alboran to advance to the quarter-finals. The match ultimately ended in favor of Zhukayev with a score of 6:2, 6:7 (1:7), and 7:6 (7:5).
Reaching the finals propelled the Kazakh athlete to a career-high placement of 254th in the updated ATP world rankings.
Kazakhstan's doubles leaders, Danilina and Nedovyesov, were eliminated from the French Open in Paris
Kazakhstan's doubles leaders, Anna Danilina and Aleksandr Nedovyesov, concluded their performance at the French Open in Paris, with Nedovyesov reaching the third round and Danilina making it to the second round.
In the third round, Aleksandr Nedovyesov, paired with Mexico's Miguel Angel Reyes-Varela, faced the top-ranked doubles pair and first seeds, Wesley Koolhof from the Netherlands and Neal Skupski from the UK. Nedovyesov-Reyes-Varela were defeated with a score of 5:7, 4:6.
Despite the loss, this year's French Open marked a significant achievement for the Kazakh tennis player as he reached the third round of a Grand Slam for the first time.
Anna Danilina also exits the tournament in Paris. In the second round, alongside Hungarian player Timea Babos, she faced the Taiwanese duo of Latisha Chan and Hao-Ching Chan. The match concluded in favor of the Chan sisters with a score of 6:7, 3:6.
Elena Rybakina withdraws from the French Open due to an illness
The world No. 4, Elena Rybakina, made the decision to withdraw from the French Open in Paris due to an upper respiratory illness.
The Kazakh tennis player revealed to reporters that she started feeling unwell after her second-round match. When she attempted to train, she struggled to sustain even 10 minutes of activity on the court.
"I saw the doctor and they said that actually, it's all a virus here in Paris. I guess with my allergy, [my] immune system just went down and I picked up something. I was not sleeping well for two days and I had a fever and a headache. I think you can hear [it in my voice] also,” said Rybakina.
Having triumphed in two WTA 1000 events this year, including a recent victory on clay in Rome two weeks ago, Rybakina's withdrawal comes as a huge upset. As one of the tournament's seeded players, her absence leaves a void in the competition.
So, yeah, it's difficult to perform and obviously to run and even breathe. So I think that was the only right decision I could make.
Team Kazakhstan finishes Grand Prix in Dushanbe with two medals
The national judo team concluded their participation in the 2023 Judo Grand Prix Dushanbe in Tajikistan, earning two bronze medals.
The Grand Prix was held from June 2-4 in the capital of Tajikistan, attracting more than 315 athletes from 40 countries.
Sunggat Zhubatkan (under 66 kg) took it to the bout with Spain's Adrian Chinarro for third place and emerged victorious. Similarly, Yerassyl Kazhibayev (over 100 kg) won the bronze medal defeating Poland's Kacper Szczurowski.
The national team secured the 13th position, alongside China and the United Arab Emirates, with two medals.