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  • Kazakhstan to Host 2021 World Combat Games


    (ATR) Nur-Sultan was announced as the host of the World Combat Games in 2021 on the final day of SportAccord on the Gold Coast.

    Newly-elected GAISF president Raffaele Chiulli announced the Kazakhstan capital, formerly names Astana, as host at the Global Association of International Sports Federations general assembly.

    He then signed the host city agreement on stage with former Kazakhstan prime minister and president of the Martial Arts Association of Kazakhstan, Karim Massimov.

    “We are delighted to have been awarded the 2021 World Combat Games,” Massimov said.

    “Combat sports and martial arts are extremely popular throughout Kazakhstan and it is sure to be a wonderful celebration of sport. My thanks to GAISF for their ongoing support and we now look forward to an amazing Games in 2021.”

    The World Combat Games are set to take place from May 3-9 in two years’ time, bringing together the most exciting combat and martial arts sports athletes from all over the world.

    “Creating a platform for our members to showcase their disciplines through multi-sport games is one of GAISF’s main priorities,” Chiulli said.

    “We are excited to be working with the team from Nur-Sultan and the launch of the World Combat Games.”

    Kazakhstan is known for its love of martial arts and the athletes at the Games will benefit from the three main venues – the Martial Arts Palace, Alau Ice Palace and the national velodrome – being in close proximity. The purpose-built Martial Arts Palace is currently in the final stages of development and will be inaugurated this summer.

    Tribute to Baumann

    The GAISF assembly opened with a minute’s silence for former president Patrick Baumann who died suddenly at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires last October.

    “First let us reflect on last year, I would like to take another moment to remember our former leader and dear friend Patrick Baumann,” Chiulli said as leaders from the 125 federations in attendance rose to their feet to honor the former FIBA secretary general. 

    Chiulli was elected unopposed to serve a two-year term as president at the meeting, a day after he became president of SportAccord. His plans for the future of GAISF include supporting IFs in their promotion of youth development programs and social responsibility initiatives, as well as strengthening the role of GAISF as a services-based organisation. Chiulli is also focused on improving the governance of member federations

    He described his election as "a great privilege" to represent, promote and protect GAISF members' common interests. "Our actions should reflect this mission with integrity and transparency and I am thoroughly looking forward to seeing what we can do together," he told delegates.

    Budapest World Urban Games

    Delegates were updated on the “great plans for the exciting inaugural event” to be held on a five-hectare industrial area on the Danube River, just outside the centre of the Hungarian capital in the autumn.

    The run-down area will be “transformed” with organisers promising a “dynamic and vibrant atmosphere” where all spectators will have the opportunity to try all of the sports on the program and watch the best athletes from around the world.

    The competition sports for the 2019 edition are: 3×3 basketball, BMX freestyle park, breaking, freestyle flying disc, parkour and freestyle roller skate. Laser run and indoor rowing will feature as showcase sports.

    The Games will run from September 13-15, with the 2021 edition also to be held in Budapest. An expanded sports program will be determined after the 2019 edition.

    With the World Urban Games, World Combat Games, World Beach Games and discussions for a World Mind Games, GAISF said they will be increasing their staff and updating their structure to service these major events and the federations.

    Earlier at the assembly, FIBA secretary general Andreas Zagklis gave a special presentation about the basketball federation’s experience of dealing with ‘third-party organisers’ and the legal action that followed. He pointed to the challenges and opportunities sports can face and called for GAISF members to collaborate and lobby to be prepared for the evolving nature of sport.

    The establishment of a working group will be discussed at the GAISF Council meeting in June.

    There were also presentations on the Olympic Channel, the International Testing Agency, which is working with many GAISF federations on anti-doping, and updates from ASOIF, AWOIF and AIMS.

    IOC sport director Kit McConnell concluded the assembly with a brief speech on the importance of the GAISF partnership and the constructive work carried out throughout SportAccord.

    Reported by ATR at SportAccord

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