How hosting Asian Games will transform Turkmenistan sports

Monday, September 25, 2017

Turkmenistan is not a country well-known when it comes to sports, but the Asian nation could boast of having one of the best sporting facilities around the world.

The country, which is currently hosting the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Games, has never won a major Olympic medal, but that is not the case at the Ashgabat Games as the host.

Just like The Gambia, little was known about the white-marbled city of Ashgabat and Turkmenistan in terms of sports, but hosting the major Games for Turkmenistan, has put the Asian nation among the countries with the best sporting facilities around the world.

With the country’s athletes topping the medal table, the first-class sporting facilities, many are of the belief that would inspire the young generation of Turkmenistans to seriously take up sport as a career.

US$5B was spent to put up the facilities by the government, which could host even Olympic Games in the future and Turkmenistan is acquiring the status of a sports state, where health and lifestyle have become a priority of state politics.

 The government has already planned to have the facility properly maintained, not only to serve the citizens of the country, but athletes from other countries who would want to use the facilities for the training.

The Games contribute not only to increasing Turkmenistan’s international sports prestige, but also to further train highly qualified sportsmen and popularising different sports among the Turkmens.

The sporting facility, the first of their kind in Central Asia, includes 16 venues, the athletes’ village, hotels, media centre and restaurants, which put Turkmenistan on the international sports map to a point that many are already thinking about the day in which Ashgabat would host the Olympics.

Considering the huge investment by the government, the people are proud. “We are proud to host the Games and it helps us to stay focused and develop our sports,” said the Secretary-General of the Turkmenistan National Olympic Committee, Azat Murarov.

For a nation that does not see many foreign visitors, Ashgabat which means “City of Love” would continue to remember the Games for bringing in thousands from around the globe, including journalists and spectators.

An impressive number of 600 journalists from 57 countries from all the world are in Ashgabat, covering the AIMAG sending a beautiful image of the nation to the world.

Bordered with Iran and war-torn Afghanistan, Turkmenistan remains peaceful  as the government does not compromise with the security of the country.

 Visitors undergo thorough screening before entering the country and at strategic entry points within the Olympic Park.

The bilateral agreement about hosting the Asian Indoor and Martial Art Games in Ashgabat was signed between Olympic Committee of Asia and National Olympic Committee of Turkmenistan and also the city administration of Ashgabat on the 19th of December 2010.

The fact that Turkmenistan is the first city in Central Asian region to get the right to host this year’s Asian Indoor and Martial Art Games was a significant event in the life of Turkmenistan.

With the two-week competition in different sporting disciplines coming to a close on Wednesday night, another spectacular ceremony is highly anticipated at the 45, 000 capacity Ashgabat Olympic Stadium.

A creative, inspiring and breathtaking display depicting Turkmenistan’s story opened the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in the most fantastic way, with a show that would live long in the memory of all who witnessed it. 

Author: Alieu Ceesay in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan