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Camel Racing Contest Wraps Up in Astrakhan With $2.5K Prize

An annual camel racing competition has wrapped in the Astrakhan region, the only region in Russia to host such a sporting event.

Astrakhan is also the only region in Russia to breed Bactrian camels — the largest in the world, capable of reaching speeds of 60 kilometers an hour.

This year's competition saw a local man named Altynbek Dzhadkubaliyev win the top prize of 100,000 rubles ($2,500), the Rossia-24 news channel reported Sunday. Dzhadkubaliyev and his camel overtook their 19 opponents at the two-kilometer mark in the race, the report said.

Astrakhan's camel races use local farmers as jockeys, since the animals do not trust strangers enough to allow them to climb onto their backs, the channel reported.

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