The following article was contributed by the Embassy of Turkmenistan in Seoul for publication by The Korea Post media in Seoul.—Ed.
Turkmenistan and Republic of Korea on February 7, 2017will mark the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations. Over the two and a half decades, Turkmenistan and Korea have built up kind and friendly relations, which are a solid foundation for further development of relations, cooperation and friendship.
The Korean government pays great attention for the well-being of its people and creates a good conditions and opportunities of self-realization, especially in the sphere of sport. For example, the 4th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games were held over eight days in Incheon, Korea, from June 29 to July 6, 2013.As we know next year in Korea, PyeongChangwill be holding the 2018 Olympic Winter Games. With PyeongChang’s strategic position in Asia, and its access to a young and fast growing youth market, the 2018 Olympic Winter Games will no doubt expose new generations of potential athletes to the power of winter sport.
In Turkmenistan also the care of citizens’ health, development of mass sports and recreation movement are the prior directions of the state politics under the leadership of President of Turkmenistan, which aims to consolidate nation’s health and bring up a physically strong and spiritually wealthy new generation. In view of this fact, it is of great importance to create all the necessary conditions for holding big sports events, among which 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Art Games play a significant role. The Games contribute not only to increasing of international sports prestige of Turkmenistan, but also to further training of highly qualified sportsmen and popularization of different kinds of sport in Turkmenistan.
Following the 4th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Gamesin Incheon the bilateral agreement about hosting the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Art Games in Ashgabat in 2017 was signed between Olympic Council of Asia and National Olympic Committee of Turkmenistan and also the city administration of Ashgabat on the 19th of December 2010. The news, that Turkmenistan was the first city in Central Asian region to get the right to host 2017 Asian Indoor and Martial Art Games, became a significant event in the life of Turkmenistan.
The 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Art Games (AIMAG) will be held in the white-marbled city of Ashgabat, “the pearl of Asia”, in 2017. For the first time a great number of countries (guests from 62 countries, including 45 countries of Asia, 17 Pacific countries) will be received. Executive committee on preparation for AIMAG 2017 also expects 5 thousand athletes from 21 kinds of sport, 2,5 thousand coaches, more than 10 thousand foreign guests, more than 1,5 thousand technical staff members and over 10 thousand volunteers. Approximately 150-200 thousand sport fans are supposed to arrive in Ashgabat in September 2017. Opening and closing Ceremonies of the Games will be held at the open air stadium with the capacity of 45000 spectators. For the sake of transportation convenience on the vast territory, a monorail way will connect Olympic Village for 12 thousand “residents” with other venues of Olympic Park.
The sports venues, which have no analogues in Central Asia, are being built in Ashgabat Olympic Park with the square of 156 hectares. Ashgabat Olympic Park is one of the unique objects in Central Asia; it includes over 30 multi-purpose venues, Paralympic Complex and Medical Rehabilitation Center. Having the variety of top-level sports venues at disposal, which will be soon put into operation, it is the needs of modern time to organize major international sports events. The venues will be provided with high quality sports equipment manufactured by leading world companies, also the peculiarities of venue decorations will be taken into account. Moreover all sportsmen and participants will be offered the necessary conditions.
Executive Committee of the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Art Games is implementing complex and massive projects on Games preparation, temporal character of which demands high-level organizational activities and effective cooperation with various institutions, organizations and companies. It is especially important to share know-how with leading countries, which have great experience in keeping major international sports events. Such closest partners of Turkmenistan are Olympic Council of Asia, National Olympic Committees of different countries, Sports Federations.
The next important event was the signing ceremony of the Memorandum of participating of 17 Pacific Countries in the Games between the Organizing Committee of the fifth Asian Indoor and Martial Art Games, Olympic Council of Asia and National Olympic Committees of the Pacific Countries on the 28th of November 2014. 19 kinds of sport are included into the Games 2017. The President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedovin his speech at the signing ceremony, offered to include two more kinds of sport – hurdle racing and Turkmen national “goresh” wrestling.
4. Muay Thai
9. Cycling (Track)
10. Swimming (50)
11. Light Athletics
12. Weightlifting (powerlifting)
14. Taekwondo (WTF)
15. Sport Dance
17. Belt Wrestling
18. Greco-Roman Wrestling
19. Snooker (Billiards)
20. Hurdle Racing
21. National "Goresh” Wrestling
Currently the main goal of Turkmenistan is to host innovative Asian Games. These Games are of great importance for Turkmenistan, which will contribute to increasing of international prestige of Turkmenistan; it is an important step to the integration into the international sports movement. The Games will be helpful for establishing of the atmosphere of trust and sympathy in the region and the world, and also will stimulate the national economy, cultural life and tourism industry.