From September 14-22 Kazakh capital Nur-Sultan will host the World Wrestling Championship.
The pre-Olympic World Championship will be held in Barys Arena which seats 11626 spectators. Barys Arena serves as a home arena for the Barys Arena hockey club and was built in 2015.
It seems the Kazakhs have done everything possible to host this championship and to please the sports guests of the capital with pleasant and unforgettable days but…there are several buts.
Airport: After landing, passing passport control and getting our luggages several volunteers approached us, learned that we were journalists, explained that we would get accreditations at Barys Arena, showed us a currency exchange point and wished us good luck. But unlike the 2018 World Championship in Budapest there weren’t special cars here that would suggest taking the World Championship participants by a special designed route, there weren’t any signs only a small poster in the airport lounge.
Venue: To say that Barys Arena isn’t an appropriate construction for such an event would be a lie but to have a nice and multifunctional venue isn’t enough for holding such a large-scale event. For getting the journalist accreditations we go to a special room where the person responsible for our accreditations after looking for them for a long time, finally finds them after which the real mess begins. Nobody knows where the entrance, media tribune and work area designed for journalists is. In response to our all questions volunteers and staff take us to a mixed zone where wrestlers give interviews after bout. After about an hour and a half of hopeless searches we return to the accreditation room and …a miracle, one of the employees shows us the right way but our joy doesn’t last long. We go upstairs and see that the media tribune is on the last floor, on the highest part of the arena and it will be quite difficult to get to the mixed zone from there and to watch the bouts in general.
Nothing is ready yet. There is a problem everywhere. But we are told that tomorrow at the World Championship opening ceremony everything will be fine and prepared. Let’s hope. But before it while we are running around Barys Arena we see little Kazakh children who will take part in the opening ceremony tomorrow and we also manage to see the rehearsal of a part of tomorrow’s opening ceremony.
Tomorrow is a responsible day both for us and Kazakhs: they must open the World Championship properly while four Armenian Greco-Roman wrestlers must try to win medals.
Hasmik Grigoryan from Nur-Sultan
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