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Kazakhs Defeat Kyrgyz For World's First Kokpar Championship

Kazakhstan has become the first world champion in an ancient equestrian sport known under different regional names -- kokpar, kok-boru, or buzkashi. The inaugural weeklong world championship ended in the Kazakh capital, Astana, on August 27, with the host country beating Kyrgyzstan 4-1 in the final match. Tajikistan earned the bronze, followed by China in fourth. A total of 11 countries participated, including a U.S. team. Enjoying nostalgic prestige across Central Asia, the nomadic game traditionally uses a goat carcass as a ball, but the championship organizers complied with the wishes of animal rights groups and used artificial substitutes instead of goats. (RFE/RL's Kazakh Service)