Jetigüş, meaning "Seven Strengths", is a Central Asian sports competition sometimes called "Central Asian Heptathlon" by Western commentators. It is designed to test a competitor's all-round fitness and ability in a number of different kinds of events, including throwing, archery, combat, physical strength and equestrian tests.
Similar multi-sport competitions have existed in Central Asia since time immemorial, but the formal codification of Jetigüş would have to wait until the 1960s. In the early days, Circuiting was frequently omitted in favour of Horse Slalom, and oil wrestling was sometimes included instead of the mounted wrestling competition in which two riders try to pull each other out of the saddle. By the 1980s, however, the competition had been standardised in its present form, and the women's competition introduced.
Women's Jetigüş was initially controversial in the Central Asian sporting world, featuring as it did the sport known variously as Atçılıq or Jigitlik, which many thought women should not be allowed to play. However, even the conservative Central Asian Games organising body allowed Women's Jigitlik/Atçılıq to be included in the 1989 Games, though older conservatives may still refuse to watch women doing what has traditionally been an exclusively male sport.
There are actually two separate forms of the Jetigüş competition, as Men's Jetigüş and Women's Jetigüş include different events.
The men's Jetigüş competition includes the following sports:
- Long-distance horse racing
- Standing Archery
- Şamşır fencing
- Mounted wrestling
The women's Jetigüş competition includes the following sports: