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Cambridge Central Asia Forum

Ashgabat 2017 100 Days to Go

With just over 100 days to go, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov made a grand tour of the Athletes Village, where athletes attending the Ashgabat 2017 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games will stay when the historic event commences in September.

He familiarised himself with the residential complex as well as the medical centre and International Broadcasting Centre. The president approved the active use of facilities even after the end of Ashgabat 2017, and called on officials to make a comprehensive plan of action towards this end.

Sport is an effective and flexible instrument for the promotion of peace and development. The outcome document of the United Nations Summit for the post-2015 development agenda notes that sports are an important factor for sustainable development. The UN recognizes the significant contribution of sports into peace and development, as it promotes the establishment of the principles of tolerance and respect, promoting the empowerment of women and youth, as well as health, education and social integration.

The right to carry out complex international sports games is gained by only those countries where there is a development of national sports base. Due to the great attention paid by the President of Turkmenistan to the development of sports, the state allocates significant investments in the construction of modern sports and recreational complexes. Of particular importance is the modernization of the corresponding infrastructure, which is considered as the basis not only for the development of high performance sport, but also for creating conditions for sports and mass movement upbringing of a physically strong generation, approval in society of principles of a healthy and active lifestyle.

Only in recent years in the Turkmen capital there were built and put into operation a number of stadiums, the Ice Palace, the water sports complex, the winter sports complex, the National Institute of Sports and Tourism, as well as many other sports facilities. In all regions of the country there are dozens of sports facilities that meet all modern requirements, the schools work in different areas of sports training.

At the same time, a variety of events of national and international level – tournaments and championships are being organised. All this has created favourable conditions for physical culture and sports, sporting events. As a result, a number of children and young people engaged in various sports have increased many times over.

One of the main purposes of the Asian Games is not only to increase the authority of Turkmenistan in the international arena, but also to popularize the sports - and not just elite sport, but also the mass physical culture and sports and recreation movement, in which every year a growing number of citizens of Turkmenistan is involved. In this context, it should be noted that on the initiative of the head of state, a monthly event entitled “Health and Happiness” is held, dedicated to the celebrated in April of the World Health Day. Its purpose is to popularize the country’s principles of a healthy lifestyle, as well as the development of physical culture and sports in Turkmenistan.

The personification of the desire of Turkmenistan to new heights and world achievements was the construction of the Olympic Village in the capital, where participants of the V Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games will fight for medals. Therefore, the assignment of the status of Ashgabat as the capital for the V Asian Games is a certificate of recognition of Turkmenistan as a country with a highly developed sports infrastructure.

The project “Asian Games-2017” will increase the international prestige of Turkmenistan, as events at such a scale level directly activate the multi-pronged international partnerships, contribute to the strengthening of friendship and business contacts, establish an atmosphere of trust and mutual understanding in the region and the world at large, as well as stimulate the development of the national economy, cultural life and the tourist industry.

Forthcoming in September 2017, the Ashgabat Asian Games will be the largest in a series of Asian games, going beyond the continental competitions: the first time the teams not only in Asia but also from Oceania will attend it. According to the Memorandum between the Organizing Committee of the Asian Games 2017, the OCA and the NOCs of Oceania signed in Ashgabat in November 2014, the international competition will be attended by delegations from 45 National Olympic Committees of Asia, as well as the 17 NOCs in Oceania. In 21 types of sports, including those incorporated in the program of the Asian Games at the initiative of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, the Turkmen National Wrestling “goresh” and popular type of equestrian sports - show jumping, will compete more than 5500 athletes from 62 countries.

The competitions will be held at the largest sites of the Olympic Village, which has no analogues in Central Asia. Currently, the almost completed main construction works include the area for about 30 buildings, where all the conditions are set in place for a full competitive process and leisure of athletes. In addition, there has been already installed a technological equipment that provides information and communications support and games management system by the Spanish company «ATOS», official IT-partner of the International Olympic Committee. In the Olympic Village a number of tournaments, including the Asian Sambo Championship, Turkmen national belt goresh fight, jiu-jitsu, basketball competitions, tennis, track and field athletics, have been already organised which is a proof of the readiness of the Olympic Village to welcome the participants.

Another fact that should be noted is the event dedicated to the 500 days before the start of the Asian Games - 5 May 2016 during which the President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov together with Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, President of Olympic Council of Asia, have launched equestrian path in honour of Asian Games-2017. During this period, 17 riders on Akhal-Teke horses have been transiting through all regions of the country and will finish in the capital town on the opening day of the V Asian Indoor Games and Martial Arts.

At present with 100 days to go, Turkmenistan came to the finish line in preparation for the Asian Games and looks forward to the athletes and sports enthusiasts.


Embassy of Turkmenistan
in the United Kingdom of
Great Britain and Northern Ireland
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