The head of the new PAL branch in Uzbekistan is the person who has been promoting our sport in the country for many years - Djasur Aliakberov. Djasur has built a system that attracts athletes, and his main goal is not only to popularize sports, but also to turn it into a full-fledged source of income for athletes. How it works?
- Jasur, the professional armwrestling league in Uzbekistan has existed for a long time and has a rich history. Tell us about the league. When was it created? How did you come to the format that exists now?
I grew up in the small historical city of Khiva. In 1999, my father held the city championship in armwrestling, where I managed to defeat the strongest athletes, representatives of other power sports, as this armwrestling was completely new for our city. After these events, I felt that armwrestling is my life, and a lot of things connect me with this sport. I thought about taking part in the championship of Uzbekistan and various tournaments in Tashkent, my plans were completely successful. But, as everyone knows, for a beginner athlete, sport does not bring in cash income, I had to earn extra money and often hear that armwrestling is not a sport, but just a hobby. And so, I was a little shy to tell people that I am an armwrestler. Then I took all this into account and decided in the future to rise the prestige of this unique sport. I was absolutely sure that I would succeed, since my great-grandfather Abdullah Aliakbar was the founder of the Bars sports club, he organized the first sports events, he was famous throughout the Soviet Union. My father, Shafkat Aliakbar, is the founder of the Friendship sports club, which hosted major tournaments in cycling, karting, football, power sports, martial arts and much more.
In 2007, I invited my friends who were armwrestling fans to create the Uzbekistan Armwrestling League (UAL), and we held the first stage of the league in 2008. Then, Asian Championship medalist Islom Irgashev and Jamshid Abdumadzhitov, who eventually became a famous athlete, made their first contribution to the development of the league. Also, an outstanding sports figure, professor, vice-president of the Moscow Federation Akhmedjan Rakhmatov made a huge contribution and support. To this day, he has supported the UAL League. Thanks to this team of armwrestling fans, today this sport has become prestigious, and in Uzbekistan absolutely everyone knows about armwrestling, even children aged 7-10 know and are eager to do it and play in the league. I borrowed a wealth of experience in conducting tournaments from Igor Mazurenko, since he is a leader in this field, to this day there is no analog in the world to PAL tournaments. Also, I added to the organization my own promotion ideas.
How many tournaments do you have per year? You have your own rating, how do you organize it?
- Since 2008, we have held 4 major tournaments, and every year there were more tournaments. In 2018, we held more than 20 tournaments, 13 stages of which were rating tournaments of the UAL league.
In 2019, we created a rating in the weight categories of the PAL version, and also added champion belts and title fights. We have our own version of the Top 8 in all weight categories. The participant can raise his rating with vendetta, challenging the opponent. The athletes agree on the conditions of the fight. If a novice armwrestler defeats a top contestant, he gets a +30 rating points. If this fight was for the champion belt, then 50 points are added to his rating. If a top participant wins a non-top participant, only 15 points are added to him. Rating rules are very simple.
This format of the tournament attracted a lot of young people, as a beginner can choose who to fight with. Beginners mainly compete with the same athletes, over time gaining experience the athlete challenges more famous armwrestlers. Such tournaments absolutely satisfy the athletes and make it possible to advertise themselves to the whole country, and maybe the whole world!
In addition to ratings, every year in December we hold the final stage of ALIAKBAR CUP FINAL, where title fights are played in all weight classes, and the most interesting thing in the league is the nomination “The best armwrestler of the year”. This title is the dream of every armwrestler in Uzbekistan!
Why did you decide to join the PAL?
- Many years ago, I proposed to Igor Mazurenko that our UAL league represent PAL in Uzbekistan, I would like our league to have some status in the international arena. By working with PAL, we can make armwrestling in Uzbekistan an elite sport. I am sure that today every armwrestler on our planet wants to get into the Top-8, and URPA is a new round in the development of world of our sport and the opportunity for athletes to earn money.
Will anything change in the work of your league? Will we see more athletes from Uzbekistan at international events?
- Big changes have already begun. Armwrestlers of Uzbekistan gladly welcomed the fact that we entered PAL. I noticed a lot that guys often discuss Top 8, which means PAL is the goal of every novice armwrestler. And for this, we have developed three main phases in the work of our league: the first phase has already been done - this is membership in the PAL, the second phase is to put our athletes in the world ranking, the third phase is the athletes from Uzbekistan to the Top 8!