Ashgabat 2017 marks “50 Days to Go”
29 July, 2017 (18:22)
The countdown to Asia’s biggest multi-sport event of the year reached 50 days today as organisers of the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games celebrated the milestone across Ashgabat in a series of bike-only events, and a Media Briefing to update journalists on the progress of preparations.
With the venues at the impressive state-of-the-art Olympic Complex in the heart of Ashgabat already complete, and training for the 8,000-strong volunteer programme at an advanced stage, organisers launched their final countdown to the Opening Ceremony in September with an event that promoted the themes of the upcoming Games: Health, Inspiration and Friendship.
Initiated by President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, the streets of Ashgabat were open only to cyclists, with thousands of Turkmen taking advantage of the opportunity to ride. The esteemed President took up the challenge himself, cycling his way through the capital, along with a distinguished group of Ministers, officials and government representatives, who all joined residents of the city on this festive day.
There were 18 stops along the prestigious route which started with a push start at the Chandibil and Kopetdag roundabout and later finished at the State Tribune. Other stops included the Ministry of Trade and Foreign Economic Relations of Turmenistan, and several city landmarks. All along the way, dance groups, orchestras and singers from various organisations around the city provided enterainment for the participants as they rode by.
In a ceremonial gesture, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov was given the first ticket and the first accreditation to Ashgabat 2017 at the final stop of the event. Cities and regions across the country also held their own cycling events to make it a day of national celebration.
Afterwards, a Media Briefing, featuring members of local and international media based in Turkmenistan, was held so the Executive Committee, the State Committee of Turkmenistan for Television, Radio Broadcasting and Cinematography and other involved Ministries could share the latest developments in the preparation for the upcoming 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games.
The milestone was also marked by the launch of ticket sales acorss the country. During the Media Briefing, the Chairman of the 5th AIMAG Executive Committee, Dayanch Gulgeldiyev, said he was very enthusiastic about the milestone. “Ashgabat 2017 will offer 12 unforgettable days of sporting competition with over 200 sessions to watch,” he said. “We want our country’s passion for sport to shine through so our ticketing programme is inclusive, accessible and affordable to make it easy for everyone to enjoy the Games.”
“I urge everyone to visit any of the eight Ticket Sales Points in Ashgabat, or one of the six more across all other regions and buy a ticket to history for your family and friends.”
The Deputy Chairman of the State Committee of Turkmenistan for Television, Radio Broadcasting and Cinematography, Kakayev Annasahet Seyitnazarovich, told invited journalists that the Executive Committee was putting the finishing touches in place in order to host the biggest multi-sport event in the country's history, “We are ready to host national and international press in what will be a glorious celebration of sport. We are ready to give the media the highest level of service they expect. We are ready for Ashgabat and Turkmenistan to welcome the world.”
Ashgabat 2017 will host thousands of athletes, coaches and officials from 65 delegations from Asia with Oceania countries taking part in the medal events for the first time, making the Games the largest ever, and adding a special international flavour to Central Asia.