The hotel we are staying at is full of boxers as Almaty is hosting the AIBA World Boxing Championships
Boxers aged 19 to 40 are united every two years to compete against the best in their division from around the world In a stunning final day of boxing, we had an incredible array of talent on display. With some nail biting final rounds, sudden reversals and shock finishes, today was THE day on the 2013 boxing calendar.
The host nation dominated the medal table with eight medals, which included four golds. They were closely followed by Cuba, who won two golds and took a total of five medals. Azerbaijan took third spot (two golds, three medals). Russia was the second European nation, while Italy and Ireland also had good tournaments. Algeria was the top African nation with a silver earned by Mohamed Flissi.
The hotel is providing breakfast for all these people in a rather grand room with a domed ceiling which has huge murals painted on it panels and it is really a joy to behold and it is also interesting to see the different nationalities and how they react and respond to the quite extensive buffet which has been laid out for them (and us)
The ambiance is somewhat destroyed by the 8 man PDRK team who are first in and are actually filling their pockets with lots of the food and I mean filling everything trousers, shirts and jackets, anything they can lay their hands on is going in, boiled eggs buns, yoghurts, cakes cheese sausages the list goes on they walk slowly to a table pockets bulging so much they can no longer put their hands in them. At first I though how uncouth but soon I realize that back in North Korea they are unlikely to have ever seen anything like this which is a little sad really given they are representing their country at boxing so they are probably better looked after than most of their people
Of course the devastation to the buffet table is profound and the next group to enter has to ask the staff to replenish items whilst the staff are wondering where the 60 boiled eggs they put out ten minutes ago have gone and how come the 8 people in the room have managed to consume the 40 yoghurts. The teams come in in dribs and drabs. Hungarians, Germans, Jamaicans, Faro isles, Poland, Bahamas, Barbados, Brazil, Canada, Cayman Islands, Chile all file in and as we are about to leave Bosnia & Herzegovina, Belarus, Croatia turn up and one of the largest men I have ever seen who turns out to be Chinese. Not sure what weight he fights at but there stands a mountain of a man and who ever gets to face him has little chance if he can land at least one punch (he might have to stoop to do so)
I am loath to leave but I am only watching not eating as I thin the Walnuts in Apricots did for me last night and not much sleep was had anyway there is a tour waiting and there is always another adventure down the road.
On the way out I try once again to perloin a tshirt from the people at the Boxing organization desk but to no avail.