Ashgabat 2017: The countdown has begun
Dayanch Gulgeldiyev, the chairman of the executive committee for the fifth Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, recently kicked off the 50-day countdown to the event. We learn how the host city is getting ready to host the most spectacular AMAG event yet.
We have now entered home straight. In less than 50 days' time my home country, Turkmenistan, will host the biggest sporting event that we have ever witnessed in Central Asia – the fifth Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games.
As Chairman of the Executive Committee and with such a short time to go until we welcome thousands of visitors from 65 delegations, I suppose I should be talking about the race against time to be ready.
But I can sleep easy at night knowing that our capital city of Ashgabat is ready and we are counting down the days with great optimism until the focus of the sporting world turns to 12 wonderful days of competition and the Opening Ceremony on 17 September.
It only seems like yesterday that we were celebrating the 100-day countdown. But since then, our preparations have continued at relentless pace and during these final days, we will be putting the finishing touches to our 15 world-class competition venues that will host 21 sports over more than 200 sessions.
Of course, this progress is only possible thanks to an enormous national effort which is fulfilling the vision of our esteemed president, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov.
Our president’s support is driving each and every one of us to produce our very best to deliver what will undoubtedly be the biggest edition of an Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games to date. We cannot wait for it to begin.
This event has galvanised our nation, which has always relished a challenge, and my fellow Turkmen have answered our call to support in their thousands. Mass volunteering is a relatively new concept in Turkmenistan so it has been humbling for us all at the Executive Committee to see how many ordinary men and women have stepped forward to be counted. The work has been hard, and the hours are long, but we appreciate the efforts of every single one of them.
There is still a lot of hard work ahead and we are not resting on our laurels. In fact, far from it. As the days tick by we are stepping up our efforts and leaving no stone unturned in our quest for perfection.
With the Opening Ceremony drawing ever closer, our incredible volunteers – the First Stars – continue to receive top class training. Many are now moving into their Games-time roles and will be going through simulations time after time so that every scenario is played out.
The spirit running through our First Stars encapsulates our approach to hosting this event with their smiles, energy and professionalism driving us on towards making history.
As for the venues? In summary, Ashgabat is now a city that can boast some of the finest sporting facilities to be found anywhere in the world.
The Inspiring Ashgabat Test Event Series earlier this year underlined our state of readiness when we sailed through those challenges with admirable results. During these final 50 days we will continue to test, and test again, all aspects of the venues to ensure that they are not only capable of hosting the world’s best athletes, but provide a thrilling experience for the thousands of spectators coming to support.
When we marked our 50 days to go milestone at the weekend, we also announced that tickets are now on sale and in order for our country’s passion for sport to shine through, our ticketing programme is inclusive, accessible and affordable to make it easy for everyone to enjoy the Games.
And what a spectacle they will enjoy. For the first time, athletes from Oceania nations will be competing at this event so as a former wrestler myself with experience of the highest levels of international competition, I want to send a message to all of those preparing to travel to our great country that we promise you the warmest of welcomes and an event organised to the highest international standards.
We are proud of the journey we have taken so far and cannot wait for the Games to commence!
This article was originally published by our partners SportsPro Media.
The Ashgabat 2017 5th Asian Indoor & Martial Arts Games are the fifth edition of the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games, and will take place in Turkmenistan from 17th to 27th September 2017. Learn more about the event and career opportunities at the dedicated GlobalSportsJobs site.