DUSHANBE, October 26, 2009, Asia-Plus  -- Tajik known judoka Rasoul Boqiyev won gold medal, finishing first in the –73 kg category in the 2009 Russia’s Judo Championships, which was held in Nalchik on October 22-25.

According to the Russian Judo Federation, Rasoul Boqiyev, who won bronze medals for Tajikistan in the 2007 World Judo Championships in Rio de Janeiro and the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, was recently granted the Russian citizenship and tried to take a crack at the championships of his new homeland.  “Participation of the athlete of such a high class has undoubtedly adomed the competition,” said the Russian Judo Federation, “Rasoul Boqiyev won the first gold medal in the -73 kg category, defeating Konstantin Zertzky in the final.”

Speaking to reporters, Rasoul Boqiyev said he has been trained in judo since the age of 5.  “My first coach was my father.  I am repeated Tajikistan champion.  Since 2004, I have been trained at the Smabo-70 Club in Moscow,” said Boqiyev, “This year, I have been granted the Russian citizenship and I think my dream to win the Olympic Games has become realistic.  In Russia, there are more opportunities to achieve this goal...  I think my choice is right and I will be able to win the highest prize in my sports career participating under the flag of Russia.”

We will recall that Rasoul Boqiyev said in interview with Radio Liberty’s Tajik Service on August 27 this year that he has not received support from the Committee for Youth, Sports and Tourism Affairs and the National Olympic Committee (NOC) of Tajikistan after the 2008 Beijing Olympics.  “They have not worked out the plan of my training for international tournaments and the Olympic Games that will be held in London in 20012 and I was excluded from the list of athletes that were sent for training to Korea; moreover, the NOC revoked the Olympic grant from me after the Olympic games in Beijing,” said Boqiyev, “After such a treatment, I have come to the conclusion that Tajikistan is not interested in me as sportsman  and I am forced to participate in competitions on behalf of other country,” known Tajik judoka said.

According him, he has been trained at the Sambo-70 Club in Moscow since 2004 under the direction of Russian trainer Vladimir Yelchninov and they have repeatedly invited him to participate on behalf of Russia.  “They have promised a monthly wage of 5,000 U.S. dollars but I cannot decide this issue alone and my trainers are currently dealing with this issue and they did not allow me participating in the World Championships until the issue is settled.”

We will recall that Radio Liberty’s Tajik Service reported on January 30, 2009 that Rasoul Boqiyev  is working as a taxi driver in Moscow to make ends meet.  His father and first trainer, Khudoinazar Boqiyev, told RFE/RL''s Tajik Service that his son received Tajikistan''s Medal of Honor and $2,300 from the Tajik government after the Olympics, but soon had to move to Russia to find work.

Rasoul Boqiyev is one of the top judokas in Tajikistan in the -73 kg category; he won the first medal for Tajikistan in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing by defeating Dirk van Tichelt of Belgium.

Judoka Rasoul Boqiyev won the first bronze medal in the -73 kg category, defeating Dirk van Tichelt of Belgium with a yuko and a koka. This was Tajikistan''s first medal of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.  In the semifinal, he lost to Wang Ki-chun, a 19-year-old judoka from the Republic of Korea.  Rasoul Boqiyev, ranked No 3 in the world in his weight category, claimed his Olympic berth by finishing third at the 2007 World Judo Championships in Rio de Janeiro.