Kazan 2020: all about first CIS Games so far

Athletics and kuresh will probably become the most spectacular sports

Kazan 2020: all about first CIS Games so far Photo: ria56.ru

Tatarstan has had a new sports and administrative win. Kazan will host the Games of CIS countries in August 2020 for the first time in history. Kazan got this right without competition. 11 countries including… Ukraine is expected at the Games (the participation of the country is claimed but not confirmed). They will compete in 19 sports, athletics and kuresh will likely be the most spectacular of them. According to the Ministry of Sport of Tatarstan, the Directorate for Sports and Social Projects will be the organiser of the Games. But, as Realnoe Vremya found out, it isn't aware of it for some reason at the moment.

Kazan chosen without competition

Minister of Sport of the Republic of Tatarstan Vladimir Leonov claimed that Kazan would host the 1st Games of the CIS Countries in 2020 at a meeting of the government commission under Vice Premier of Russia Olga Golodets. As these Games will become the first competitions of their kind in history, little is known about them. First of all, Leonov revealed the time when the competition would be held: from 20 to 27 August.

“The sports competition of this kind will be held for the first time in the history of CIS countries, which will unite them all. The Ministry of Sport of the Russian Federation made such an initiative to hold the competition, there was a corresponding instruction from the country’s President Vladimir Putin, afterwards the Tatarstan Ministry of Sport together with the federal sports ministry prepared a project that was approved at the government commission’s meeting last week,” the minister claimed.

The message also reads that after the competition in Kazan, the Games will become traditional and be held in CIS countries every two years.

Leonov added that “the choice of Kazan [as host of the Games] was obvious”, as the city has the necessary infrastructure. As Realnoe Vremya found out, the Games didn’t have a contest and bid campaign, which is traditional for big sports events. The Tatarstan ministry of sport said that Kazan was chosen as the host city when the competition’s project was initiated.

Vladimir Leonov revealed the time when the competition will be held: from 20 to 27 August. Photo: Oleg Tikhonov

Expected spectacle in athletics and belt wrestling

The competitions in 19 sports will be held in 11 venues of the Tatarstan capital. The Aquatics Palace, Ak Bars Wrestling Palace, Beach Sports Centre, Miras Training Complex, Boxing and Table Tennis Centre, Kazan Expo International Exhibition Centre, the Sports Palace and the Central Stadium will welcome the sports programme of the tournament.

Athletes will compete in judo, sambo, beach volleyball, beach handball, futsal, boxing, Thai boxing, chess, dancesport, fencing, karate, kettlebell lifting, arm-wrestling, mass wrestling, wrestling, belt wrestling (kuresh), athletics and 3x3 basketball.

As mass media notes, the CIS Games will be held several weeks after the Olympic Games in Tokyo, and this will influence the list of competitors. Olympic team athletes are unlikely to go to the CIS Games — they will need to rest. However, the All-Russian Athletics Federation is still sanctioned by WADA, athletes have every chance to miss the Olympic Games, which means they can appear at the CIS Games. Then athletics will become one of the most spectacular sports in Kazan in August 2020. In addition, the number of participating countries (below) will include almost all the countries developing kuresh. Consequences, the belt wrestling tournament at the CIS Games is going to be comparable with a world championship.

The number of participating countries (below) will include almost all the countries developing kuresh. Photo: Oleg Tikhonov

Ukraine will come. Maybe

Official sources have already announced the countries participating in the Games. Besides Russia, it will be Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Ukraine. Apart from them, the organising committee might invite other countries, too.

Ukraine raises questions on the list. This country officially revoked all representatives from the CIS in 2018, though it is still a founder member of the Commonwealth. But it is not the case but if Ukrainian athletes will come to Russia given the tense relations between the countries. Or will there be positive changes in the relations by 2020?

As it turned out, there is no official confirmation of Ukraine’s participation. The Tatarstan sports ministry says the following: the CIS Executive Committee will send out invitations to the countries. “A corresponding invitation will be sent to Ukraine as well. In any case, Kazan will be glad to see guests and athletes from all the countries in the competition on its territory,” the ministry claimed.

Unaware directorate

The new Games so far don’t have their own organising committee like the IOC or FISU. It is clear from the previous point that the CIS Executive Committee is the top manager. It could be logical to presuppose that the Directorate for Sports and Social Projects, which has almost all big sports events under its belt, will be the organiser on the spot.

Realnoe Vremya got the confirmation of the directorate’s participation in the Tatarstan Ministry of Sport. However, an hour after the ministry’s reply, we got a reply to an analogous request from the directorate that said the organisation “didn’t have information about appointing the directorate as the organiser of this competition”.

The FINA championships attracted 2,500 athletes from 190 countries, excluding veterans in the Masters. Photo: Maksim Platonov

Games’ scale is much lower than that of Universiade and FINA World Championships

The previous sports competitions like the 2015 FINA World Championships or the same 2013 Universiade notably influenced the life of citizens of Kazan. To compare, the Universiade hosted over 11,000 athletes from 160 countries of the world, while 150,000 guests and tourists arrived in Kazan during this period.

Let’s add 20,000 volunteers and 30,000 representatives of law enforcement agencies keeping the order in the city to these numbers. The FINA championships attracted 2,500 athletes from 190 countries, excluding veterans in the Masters (5,500 athletes from 110 countries). According to official data, about 100,000 tourists visited the capital of Tatarstan on those days.

As for the new Games, Kazan is going to host more than 2,000 athletes and 600 officials from the mentioned country members. The Ministry of Sport of the Republic of Tatarstan doesn’t provide an estimated number of other guests and tourists.

By Aleksandr Artemyev
Tatarstan