???The Bahrain delegation to the Fifth Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games attended the closing ceremony of the first-ever event staged in a central Asian nation on Wednesday evening in Ashgabat, in Turkmenistan.
Bahrain, who sent nine athletes to Ashgabat, capped off a brave journey to this 12-day games with two gold medals and one bronze.
Ali Munfaredi and teammate Ahmed Shabeeb opened Bahrain’s account at the games, winning the jiu jitsu men’s under-77kg gold and bronze medals, respectively.
Adam Batirov then pulled off another remarkable feat by taking the men’s wrestling freestyle under-70kg gold medal in sensational style. Bahrain also competed in taekwondo through young athletes Wala Al Dossary, Juana Mousa and Jumana Mousa.
Bahrain completed the games in 23rd place in the 36-nation medal table. Host nation Turkmenistan finished well clear of the pack at the top of the final medal standings with 89 gold medals, 70 silver and 86 bronze across the 21 sports for a total of 245 medals.
China came in second with 42 gold, 32 silver and 23 bronze for 97 total medals, while Iran was third with 36-23-59 for 118. Kazakhstan (28 gold medals), Uzbekistan (24), Thailand (21), Korea (15), Kyrgyzstan (13), Vietnam (13) and Hong Kong, China (10) completed the top 10.
Meanwhile, Ashgabat Olympic Stadium hosted a spectacular closing ceremony, in the presence of Turkmenistan president Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, Olympic Council of Asia president Shaikh Ahmed Al Fahad Al Sabah of Kuwait, and other high-ranking sports officials from all over Asia.
Shaikh Ahmed thanked Turkmenistan for inviting him to Ashgabat to witness the closing ceremony of this event, which he described as the ‘best ever Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games.
President Berdimuhamedov then declared the games closed, and the flame in the cauldron behind the giant statue of a horse’s head overlooking the stadium slowly faded away.
Bahrain Royal Equestrian and Endurance Federation president and Bahrain chef de mission Shaikh Faisal bin Rashid Al Khalifa said he was thrilled with the closing ceremony programme, and admired the friendliness of the people of Turkmenistan.?