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President of Turkmenistan chairs a meeting of the V Asian Games Organizing Committee and launches the project completion stage

On February 25, a regular meeting of the Organizing Committee of the V Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games was held under the chairmanship of President Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov in Ashgabat.

In the morning, the President of Turkmenistan drove to the Sport Hotel in the Olympic Village, where the Deputy Chairmen of the Cabinet of Ministers, the high-ranking officials of military and law enforcement agencies and the hyakims of the regions and Ashgabat gathered together. President Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov entered the hotel lobby, where the plane tables with the draft designs of the attributes of the 2017 Asian Games and an exhibition of various products, including the Asian Games countdown clock, uniforms for athletes and volunteers, dictionaries and phrasebooks, souvenirs, were arranged.

The draft designs of the Asian Games torch that had been revised and improved in accordance with the Turkmen leader’s recommendations and comments and the sets of medals – the trophies in future sports battles were presented at the separate exposition.

The President headed for a conference room, where the Cabinet deputy chairpersons, the members of the Organizing Committee and the Executive Committee of the V Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games, the State Committee for Sport and the heads, athletes and coaches representing the National Federation in 21 sports, included in the Asian Games programme, gathered together.

The President opened the meeting and gave the floor to Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers S. Toylyev, who reported on the current situation in the sport sector.

As was noted, the creation of modernized sports infrastructure and conditions conducive to improving the skills of our athletes contributed to their successful performance at the world championships and other prestigious international competitions. In 2015, the Turkmen athletes participated in 162 international sports competitions and won 411 prizes, including 143 gold, 98 silver and 170 bronze medals, of which 74 medals were taken in the world championships and 58 medals in the Asian championships.

Support and encouragement of young sports talents, provision of the sport sector with highly qualified trainers and coaches and other resources are the major aspects of the ongoing work aimed at raising the international prestige of Turkmen sports and staging of the V Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games. Cooperation with foreign experts is promoted for this purpose. In this context, the National Federations and Centers in 21 sports, included in the 2017 Asian Games programme, are intensifying their activities.

The work aimed at training sports specialists is carried out at the National Institute of Sports and Tourism, the Olympic sports school, the Olimp sports school, the sportsmanship school and other sports institutions and organizations in Ashgabat, and in the regions. Training sessions are held at the sports centers in the “Avaza” National Tourist Zone, Gokdere, Koytendag and foreign countries.

In cooperation with the international sports organizations, the negotiations on the international test competitions to be held at the Ashgabat Olympic Village are under way.

The progress of preparatory work for the V Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games is reviewed on a regular basis at the meetings of 2017 Asian Games Organizing Committee to be held on the last Sunday of each month in 2016. This enables closer coordination in properly and timely addressing the organizational issues and ensuring the preparedness in accordance with the V Asian Games Master Plan.

The Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers submitted for consideration by President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov the draft Decree on wide-ranging sports, cultural and health-improving events under the motto Health and Happiness, which are held in April of every year to mark the World Health Day. The programme of activities to be held from April 5 to May 5 of this year was presented to the Turkmen leader as well.

The President signed the Decree and ordered that large-scale sports, cultural and health-improving events under the motto Health and Happiness should be held annually from April 5 to May 5.

Chairman of the V Asian Games Executive Committee D. Gulgeldiev presented the report, noting that the goal-oriented policy of the President of Turkmenistan in the sport sector was yielding fruits; Turkmen sport was brought to a new level of development and our country was becoming a venue for major sporting events.

The V Asian Games Executive Committee, founded on December 18, 2013, is intensifying its activities. Being assigned the increased amount of work to be done in preparation for the V Asian Games, the Executive Committee has widened its staff and created new departments that adopt useful international practices and developments in their activities.

As was noted, the necessary measures were taken to attract attention of sponsors and partners to the 2017 Asian Games. In this context, international practices were studied thoroughly jointly with the Olympic Council of Asia. The major international companies that acted as the partners and sponsors of the Olympic Games and the Asian Games have expressed their interest in sponsoring the Ashgabat Games. The negotiations with these companies are under way.

Fruitful cooperation with the Olympic Council of Asia in advertising the V Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in the Asian region as well as in Australia and the countries of Oceania, and providing information support for this large sporting event is being promoted.

With the view to ensure the high level of organization of the Asian Games and training Turkmen specialists in modern drug testing technology, Ashgabat hosted the meeting of the Executive Board of the Regional Anti-Doping Organization of Central Asia, as well as a training seminar for national anti-doping inspectors. Turkmen specialists who had attended this training seminar received the certificates of doping control officers.

The 2017 Asian Games Executive Committee is taking further organizational measures to develop detailed plans in compliance with the Asian Games Master Plan and invite experts with relevant expertise to our country.

The Turkmen leader gave the floor to Erol Tabanca, CEO of Turkish Polimeks – the main developer and builder of the grandiose sports complex, who reported that construction on the Ashgabat Olympic Village was carried out in accordance with the work plan.

The first phase of the Olympic Village project was completed in April 2014. Construction works of the second project phase were performed in full in December 2015. Construction works in the framework of the third project phase are in full swing; the work plan has been fulfilled 75 per cent. Currently, builders are engaged in installing the roof and decorating the facade of the Olympic Stadium, the arena of which will host the opening and closing ceremonies of the V Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in 2017. To date, 70 per cent of construction works at the stadium has been performed.

The CEO of Polimeks and the Deputy Chairman of the 2017 Asian Games Executive Committee informed the President of Turkmenistan of the measures taken to address the organizational issues related to the staging of the grandiose sports festival at the international level.

In particular, the detailed proposals for the training of specialists in management, operation and maintenance of Olympic venues were submitted for consideration by the Ashgabat Hyakimlik and the State Committee for Sport. The information on the opening and closing ceremonies was presented as well.

President Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov noted that the large-scale work had been done since our country was granted the right to host the V Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in 2017.

President Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov summed up the work done, and emphasized that the important task of completing the remaining work in a proper and timely manner so that Ashgabat would host the major sporting event was to be fulfilled.

The President said that the staging of the V Asian Games was crucial for our neutral country. The Games will create conditions conducive to involving the population in physical training and sport activities and contribute favorably to bringing up the physically strong younger generation and training outstanding athletes. The Asian Games will play a significant role in promoting the national sport on a global scale. The Turkmen leader said that the ongoing work in this field should be based on national traditions and customs that had survived to our days, including hospitality of the Turkmen people.

In this context, the President suggested holding a horse marathon across the country 500 days before the V Asian Games in accordance with our ancient traditions. A special group composed of 17 horsemen should be formed. Addressing Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers S. Toylyev, the Turkmen leader said that the group of horsemen would take part in the horse marathon that would run across the territory of all the regions of our country.

The Turkmen leader suggested that the marathon would be led by a horseman who would carry the torch and the horsemen with the national flag of Turkmenistan and the flag of the V Asian Games in their hands would be accompanying the horseman with the Asian Games torch on his right and left sides. The parade of athletes who gained victories and outstanding achievements in international tournaments should be organized.

The Turkmen leader instructed Chairperson of the Cabinet of Ministers M. Yazmuhammedova to create a group consisting of cultural and art workers, including journalists, TV specialists, representatives of the Ministry of Culture and public organizations, who would be accompanying the group of horsemen along the marathon course and providing the media coverage for the historic event.

The Turkmen leader suggested walking together with citizens of our country along the Health Path in Ashgabat in the morning on May 5, 500 days before the V Asian Games and gathering together near the monuments in Nisa in the afternoon that day to start the horse marathon and wish every success to the participants.

The marathon will last 100 days in each velayat. With the aim of worldwide popularizing and promoting the national heritage of the Turkmen people and as a sign of respect for the memory of our glorious ancestors, the marathon participants will visit all the monuments and landmarks of the country.

The horse marathon will finish in Mary velayat. The ceremony of lighting the V Asian Games torch will take place at the world famous Galkynysh gas field. Then the group will head for the capital of our sovereign Homeland, where it will participate in the Asian Games opening ceremony. A group of horsemen from Ashgabat will pick up the torch.

After crossing all the regions of the country, the horse marathon participants with the torch in their hands will arrive in the capital and proceed to the stadium in the Olympic Village, where the Olympic flame will be lit.

President Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov dwelt upon another characteristic feature of the Asian Games. As is known, the V Asian Games will be held in 2017. In preparation for the Asian Games, 17 horsemen on May 5, at 17 p.m. will set off on the marathon across the country. On September 17, 2017, they will return to Ashgabat and move to the stadium in the Olympic Village. The opening ceremony of the V Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games will take place that day at 17 p.m.

The Turkmen leader noted that the Turkmen people and the peoples of the East believed that the numbers 7 and 17 brought happiness and good luck and wished everyone to host the V Asian Games at a high organizational level, and athletes to achieve outstanding successes in these competitions.

The President gave the floors to sport specialists, young athletes and their coaches, who expressed their views on the themes discussed, as well as on proposals made during the meeting.

President Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov thanked everyone for expressing their views and their interesting reports and summed up the meeting of the V Asian Games Organizing Committee. The Turkmen leader said that they would meet again on April 7, on the World Health Day, and give start to the horse marathon across the country on May 5.

The Turkmen leader heartily bade farewell to the meeting attendees and left a conference hall of the Sport Hotel.

State News Agency of Turkmenistan (TDH)