Sunday, June 22, 2014

Meet the Genghis McKhans.. three Scots wrestlers who are taking on the Mongolians at their national sport

THREE wrestlers face the challenge of a lifetime by taking on some of Mongolia’s best grapplers in their own backyard.

The intrepid Scots will travel 5000 miles to the eastern state, where wrestling is the national sport.

It was invented there more than 5000 years ago and fabled leader Genghis Khan used it to keep his mighty army – the famous Mongol hordes – fit.

Now the Mongolians have given a special invite to airline pilot Jamie MacDonald, 41, his photographer brother Robert, 36, and businessman David Scott, 40, from Clarkston, Glasgow, to take on their best.

Mongolia is the top wrestling nation in the world and won a string of gold wrestling and judo medals at the last two Olympics.

Dubbed the Genghis McKhans, the three amateur wrestlers are to challenge the Mongolians at their own unique form of wrestling.

They have been invited to the remote town of Bulgan in August where Mongolia’s best wrestlers will gather for their national competition. It is the first time outsiders have been invited.

But the Scots will not be wearing the traditional and distinctive Mongolian wrestling garb, which includes a jacket, small briefs and leather boots. Instead, they will compete in their kilts.

David, who also runs an adventure holiday firm, said: “It is a real honour to be invited. Mongolia is to wrestling what Brazil is to football.

“The Mongolians are great admirers of the wrestling style used in Highland Games, which is different from Mongolian.

“In Mongolia, wrestlers are major celebrities. They are treated like rock stars.

“The men are more than 20st and very powerful. We are all around 16st and it will be an almost impossible task to beat them but we will do our best.”

David has been visiting Mongolia for more than 10 years on trade and cultural missions and was recently appointed an honorary consul for Scotland.

One of his adventure holidays involves a trip across the Gobi desert. He added: “Mongolia is a little-known country but there are great trading opportunities here for Scottish businesses. They are very friendly people.”

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