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Kyrgyzstan Wins First Ice Hockey World Championship Gold Medal

Kyrgyzstan has won its first men's national team gold medal at an IIHF World Championship event, taking first place in the debut Division IV tournament on home ice.
Kyrgyzstan flag

Kyrgyzstan has won its first men's national team gold medal at an IIHF World Championship event, taking first place in the debut Division IV tournament on home ice.

Kyrgyzstan sailed through the tournament quite easily, highlighted by a 13-1 win over Iran and a 22-1 beatdown of Malaysia in the first two games of the tournament. Kyrgystan needed to beat Singapore in its third game to win gold and make the fourth game meaningless, and it did so with a major 15-0 win. Kyrgyzstan capped it off with a 14-0 win over Kuwait.

Formerly part of the Soviet Union, Kyrgyzstan has had a successful run in international play. The 52nd-ranked team in the IIHF standings won gold at the 2011 Asian Winter Games, silver at the second division Challenge Cup of Asia event in 2014 and gold in 2016. 

Kyrgyzstan was the favorite to win gold, with the host nation proving at the Division III qualification level that they're capable of playing against much stronger talent. Kyrgyzstan's first men's World Championship experience came during the 2019 Division III qualification tournament, winning every game in the tournament. The IIHF ruled that the team had used an ineligible player, only for the IIHF to admit they made a mistake later on without reversing the result.

Iran finished second in its hockey debut to win silver, while Singapore beat Malaysia 8-2 to win bronze in its first World Championship event as well.

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