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Pentathlon Stories competition winner: Kristina Ryabova (KAZ) – ‘The Modern Pentathlon Learned by Heart’

UIPM Family

It was a sunny day in March. I hold a gold medal, which surprisingly did not catch my attention. One thing I was looking at was a simple surname on my new certificate. Strangely I had never seen it before… I came to my couch and pointing at the text asked, "Who is this person? Why his name is written on my certificate?" A smile run through his face. He took my hand and lead me to the pictures on the cabinet wall. "Look here,"- he stared at a photo of a simple person with kind eyes. "Without him, none of us would have an opportunity to be called pentathlon athlete from Kazakhstan".

Here I will start this amazing story my couch shared this day…

The sun was shining brightly on a summer day of 1969 when twelve-year-old Timur was sitting bored in the park next to home. Suddenly he heard familiar voices of his friends. He jumped up and shouted:

-Guys, hello. Let's have fun. I cannot just sit staring at these trees.

-Sorry, but we need to hurry. Today is the first training and it is not allowed to be late.

-That is a pity. Maybe I can come with you. Here I have nothing to do at all.

-Let's try, - said one of his friends winking.

Since that moment Timur familiarized with his first discipline swimming, but he did not think there would be four others.


Timur never thought of being better than anyone else, but followed all the instructions of the trainer and tried to do his best. One championship was followed by another and he was keeping leader position. These calculations were significant only for reports and never for Timur. He just enjoyed the moment there and now. Every training was not just a pleasure, but a new piece of experience.

He grew up and became a young leader of the national team. Under his management, the team of Kazakhstan won the 7th Summer Games and after two years in 1981 won the World Championship in Mexico.


That was time to think of the future. For many people, the future is about their own life, for this young warrior it was not so. Timur believed his future to be about growing up a new generation such passionate athletes as he was.

His unique experience and understanding of the sport as an art gave the second breath to the Modern Pentathlon in Kazakhstan. In 1984 Timur Kamalovich became a head trainer of the Kazakhstan team. That was a great opportunity to share his experience with the young generation. Under his leadership, the Kazakhstan team strengthened its positions in the USSR ranking and took a stronger competitive position in the world.

His attempts were mentioned and in 1990 a thirty-three-year-old man gets an allowance to develop the sport on the world scene. As the first leader of the National Olympic Committee, he created a strong basis and introduced Kazakhstan to the International Sports Committee. Could Kazakhstan participate in Olympic Games without this event? Actually, no. It means no athletes under the blue flag of peace would be running side by side with other selfless heroes.


That was everything that his colleagues and my couch saw, but hardly they thought of the background of this amazing life.

Timur was coming home day by day. He always wondered to know the news of his family members. His wife Gulzhan never knew about the number of obstacles his husband was struggling with every day. The family saw a simple-hearted father with bottomless kind eyes.


Timur Kamalovich Dosymbetov passed away on the 3rd of December 2015, but his treasure of knowledge is kept in hearts of Kazakhstan athletes forever. He proved with all his life: "The Modern Pentathlon is not a sport for profit but life."


Nothing has changed in the room. I was looking at the same picture, but this person was not unknown to me anymore. I was sure I had known him long ago because the Modern Pentathlon of Kazakhstan is filled with his soul. The young boy who changed the country, the young boy showed that limits are only in our minds and opportunities are everywhere.

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