In November 2019 I travelled throughout Uzbekistan, to discover the roots of Central Asian wrestling – kurash. In this report for the BBC World Service I meet the rising stars of the sport, dreaming of the Olympics.
Now to Uzbekistan in Central Asia – where wrestling remains the most popular sport, despite having a history of over 3,000 years. Kurash – as it’s known in the region, is a martial art of throws and holds.
But with a few minute differences to other combat sports elsewhere in the world, it’s never made it to the Olympic Games. Instead, ambitious Uzbek wrestlers learn this central Asian sport, before moving onto more established Olympic sports like Judo.
Sportshour’s Simon Parker has been meeting some of the stars of past and present.
You can listen to the full report here.