Turkmenistan lauds its first Olympic medalist

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ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan (AP) — Turkmenistan has lauded its first Olympic medal winner at a lavish ceremony where the weightlifter was showered with gifts. The 21-year-old Polina Guryeva lifted a total 217 kilograms in the 59-kilogram category at the Tokyo Games. It was the first Olympic medal for the gas-rich Central Asian country since it won independence in the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union. Turkmenistan’s authoritarian president, Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, has presented Guryeva with an apartment, a luxury sports utility vehicle and $50,000 in cash. Berdymukhamedov’s son, Serdar, was recently promoted to deputy prime minister and he handed over the gifts to Guryeva during Saturday’s ceremony in the capital of Ashgabat

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