The Fifth edition of the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games, which get officially underway today (Sunday) in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan with more than 65 countries – including 45 delegations from across Asia and 19 from Oceana, to compete in 21 sports for a total of 341 gold medals.
The official opening ceremony will be staged at the 45-seater newly-built Ashgabat Olympic Stadium, which is located at the center of the complex, and is a one of a kind facility and set to leave a long lasting legacy for Turkmen sports, especially as a football and athletics venue.
Bahrain is sending three sports disciplines for the 12-day event. They are jiu jitsu, taekwondo and wrestling.
The jiu jitsu team, which was the first to touch down on Ashgabat, includes administrator Ahmed Janahi, coach Reza Monfaradi, athletes Ali Ibrahimi, Mohammed Abu Idris, Ahmed Mansoor, Nejad Al Gusaibi and Ali Monfaradi.
Head Coach Tawfeeq Nuwaiser leads a three-member taekwondo team, which includes Wala Al Dossary, Juana Mousa and Jumana Mousa. The trio started training yesterday in Ashgabat ahead of the taekwondo action, which tips of on Tuesday. The taekwondo draw was held yesterday. Adam Batirov will be the only athlete representing Bahrain in wrestling. Batirov, the former Asian wrestling champion, is being coached by Mahmood Magomedov.
Meanwhile, Bahrain Royal Equestrian and Endurance Federation president and Bahrain chef de mission Shaikh Faisal bin Rashid Al Khalifa arrived in Ashgabat yesterday to deputise for His Majesty King Hamad to attend today’s opening ceremony.
The Fifth edition of the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games is the first OCA Games held in the Central Asian country. The host city was granted the hosting rights in Kuwait on December 19, 2010.
The games will take place in the Olympic Village, a multi-purpose sports facility in the capital. The complex will feature 15 venues.
More than 7,500 athletes will contest in various disciplines, including track cycling, equestrian jumping, taekwondo, weightlifting and wrestling are to be contested in true Olympic formats, whereas another five Olympic sports – basketball, athletics, football, swimming and tennis.
The 11 non-Olympic sports included in the programme are bowling, chess, billiard sports, Dance Sport, ju-jitsu, kickboxing, kurash, muaythai, sambo, belt wrestling and traditional wrestling.
The themes of the Games are Health, Inspiration and Friendship, reflecting the belief that sports and the Olympic Movement play a significant role in developing friendship, mutual understanding and cooperation between people. ?