Ruslan Kurbanov, the Kazakhstani fencer who achieved historical success by securing a bronze medal at the World Fencing Championship in Italy, attributed his triumph to his passion and dedication. In an exclusive interview with Sarbaz.kz, Kurbanov has revealed the beginnings of his journey towards this significant achievement.
At the age of eight, Kurbanov was deeply involved in football and aspired to become a professional footballer. However, everything changed during his summer break when a friend invited him to try out fencing.
"It was love at first sight. Anyone who has experienced this sport once will never be able to resist its allure," – Kurbanov said.
Under the guidance of his first coach, Alexander Kuimov, and now coached by Sergey Shabalin under the supervision of Hungarian specialist Ferenc Tot, Kurbanov underwent meticulous preparation for the World Championship, culminating in his historic feat of clinching the bronze medal. On two previous world championships, he reached the top eight, narrowly missing out on medals.
Before the championship in Italy, Kurbanov participated in training camps in Spain, providing an opportunity to spar with some of the strongest fencers from South Korea, China, and other countries.
Despite facing stiff competition with 253 fencers contending for medals, Kurbanov persevered and reached the semi-finals. On his path to the medal, he defeated Yannick Borel, the French Olympic champion of 2016. Thorough analysis and detailed breakdown of Borel's bouts proved instrumental in Kurbanov's victory.
"Although it was initially disappointing to miss the final by a step, I now understand that my bronze medal feels almost like a victory. It represents the success of Kazakhstani fencing as a whole," – Kurbanov said proudly.
Despite his momentous achievement, there is no time for rest as Kurbanov will soon compete in the Asian Summer Games at the end of September. He currently holds the 16th place in the world rankings and is a medalist in various championships and games, including the Asian Championships, Asian Games, and the Summer Universiade. Notably, at the same World Championship in Milan, Kurbanov, along with Elmir Alimzhanov, Vadim Sharlaiov, and Erlik Sertay, clinched the 7th place in the team competition, marking the best result for the Kazakhstani team.
"I want to express my gratitude to my coaches, and extend a special thanks to Mirbulat Gaysinovich Abuov, the President of the Kazakhstan National Fencing Federation. Our federation is doing tremendous work to develop fencing in Kazakhstan," – Kurbanov acknowledges.
Additionally, Kurbanov serves as an instructor for the sports team of the National Guard of the Republic of Kazakhstan and holds the rank of Lance Corporal.