Turkmenistan’s first-ever Olympic medallist, weightlifter Polina Guryeva, was gifted an apartment, a car and $50,000 in cash for her exploits at a ceremony in the Central Asian country’s capital Ashgabat on Saturday.
Guryeva, 21, won silver for Turkmenistan at this summer’s Games in Tokyo in the women’s 59kg weightlifting competition. It was the ex-Soviet country’s only medal at the Games and the first in its history.
Turkmen shooter Marat Niyazov previously won a silver medal representing the Soviet Union at the 1960 Games in Rome.
The celebrations of Guryeva’s victory were led by Honoured Coach of Turkmenistan, Serdar Berdymukhamedov, the 39-year-old son of the country’s hardline leader Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov.
At the ceremony in Ashgabat, the younger Berdymukhamedov handed Guryeva, who is ethnic Russian, three white-lacquered wooden boxes.
One contained keys to a three-room apartment in the capital city, the second held keys to a white Lexus SUV and the third $50,000 in cash.—APP