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Fail: Kuwaitis play Borat spoof anthem at medal ceremony

Borat & Mariya Dimtriyenko

Borat & Mariya Dimtriyenko

It is one of those unbelievable stories, which will be mentioned in all sports reviews of the year: A gold medal winner is waiting for the national anthem of her country, but is left stunned with a spoof anthem. A scenario which happened to Kazakhstan’s Mariya Dimtriyenko…

Dimtriyenko won the gold medal at the 10th Arab Shooting Championship in Kuwait and was honoured at a traditional medal ceremony on Thursday. Everything looked fine and it seemed like business as usual. But things went historic, when the organisers played a song used by British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen in his film “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan”, instead of the Kazakh national anthem. The spoof song praises Kazakhstan for its “superior potassium exports” and for having the “cleanest prostitutes” in the region.

The Kazakh athlete kept her poise after realizing the audience hadn’t noticed it was a spoof anthem, and embraced the gold medal being awarded to her.

Dimtriyenko’s coach Anvar Yunusmetov told Kazakh news agency Tengrinews that the tournament’s organisers had also got the Serbian national anthem wrong. “Then Maria Dmitrienko’s turn came,” Yunusmetov told. “She got up on to the pedestal and they played a completely different anthem, offensive to Kazakhstan.”

The Organizing Committee of the 10th Arab Shooting Championship apologized for the mistake after an official protest by the Kazakh team and repeated the medal ceremony, playing the proper national anthem of Kazakhstan.