For 10 days, the sporting flame lit up Turkmenistan’s capital Ashgabat. It became the first city in Central Asia to host the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games, bringing together 6.000 athletes from across Asia and Oceania.
Indian Team concludes their campaign with whooping 40 medals at Ashgabat Games.
Congrats for 11th position in Medal Tally. pic.twitter.com/gVxx5AVgTf— Sports Talk 24 (@sport_talk24) 28 septembre 2017
This 5th edition saw more than 340 medal events, a new world record, and the rise of new sporting stars.
According to Husain Al Musallam, Director General of the Olympic Council of Asia, “Asia really is the biggest continent, with a lot of different cultures. These cultures give you a different variety of sports. Sport makes peace, unites people and the main message is peace.”
The Games opened with a spectacular ceremony, featuring more than 7.000 performers from 39 countries. The show’s producer was award-winning stage director Francisco Negrin.
“As Turkmenistan was at the centre of the Silk Road – all the commerce routes throughout history between all the countries in Asia – it was easy to make the metaphorical link with sports now coming on this new silk road, if you like, to Ashgabat,” he said.
The flame travelled across the country for 500 days on horseback before reaching the arena, built especially for the occasion. It was transported on the back of Turkmenistan’s famous Akhal Teke horse, in scenes reminiscent of the epic legend of Gorogly.
“It has the same colour and looks exactly like the legendary horse, and it has the the same character,” said equestrian performer Pygy Bayramdirdiyev.
One of the oldest equine breeds in the world, the horse featured in the Games’ new programme, in the Akhal Teke horse jumping competition.