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What are the Ashgabat 2017 Games?

7 September 2017

ASHGABAT 2017: In just over a weeks’ time, 18 Australian athletes and 12 officials will touch down in the capital of Turkmenistan to don the green and gold for Australia’s Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games (AIMAG) debut.

Ashgabat will host the fifth installment of the AIMAGs, which is a combination of the Asian Indoor Games and the Asian Martial Arts Games which were merged by the Olympic Council of Asia in 2005.

It is the first time Oceania countries have been invited to participate in the Games, making the 2017 edition the largest AIMAG event organised with a total of 63 competing nations.

Alongside the more traditional Olympic sports of Tennis, Taekwondo, Wrestling, Track Cycling, Equestrian Jumping and Weightlifting, the AIMAG features modified versions of Olympic sports such as indoor Athletics, short course Swimming, Futsal and 3x3 basketball – an event set to debut at Tokyo 2020.

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However other sports such as Chess, Dance Sports, Belt Wrestling, Billiard Sports, Bowling, Kurash and Ju-Jitsu will also feature on the Games programme.

Plus, e-Sports will be held as a demonstration sport and will include the games of Hearthstone, StarCraft II, Dota2 and KOF XIV.

The Australian team will have athletes competing in the Olympic sports of Wrestling, Weightlifting and Taekwondo.

Not only will the Games be a great opportunity for our Australian athletes to test themselves against Asia and Oceania’s best athletes, but will give them a unique insight into one of the most mysterious and unexplored countries in Central Asia.

Ashgabat is the capital of Turkmenistan, and is the largest administrative, political, transport, trade, scientific and cultural centre of the country.

The city, with a population of over 700,000, is located in the south of Turkmenistan, 25km north of the border with Iran, from which it is separated by the Kopetdag Mountains, while on the other side the city borders the Karakum desert.

In 2013, Ashgabat entered the Guinness Book of Records as the city with the largest number of buildings finished with white marble. The number of such buildings in the city is 543, and the total area of the marble finish is 4.5 million square metres

Athletes and officials will be relieved the competition is the Indoor Games, as the city surrounded by desert has an average maximum temperature of 35°c during September, which will cool off to around 20°c at night.

The competition venues are guaranteed to be a more comfortable temperature than outside with the Games held in a new state of the art, 30-venue, multi-purpose complex near the centre of the city.

The Ashgabat Olympic Complex encompasses all training and competition venues, the athletes village, the dining hall, leisure areas and all medical and information centres in the one area, making it one of the most compact Games venues the Australian athletes will ever see.

Our 12 Taekwondo and Weightlifting athletes will march under the Australian flag during the Opening Ceremony in the 45,000 capacity Ashgabat Olympic Stadium at exactly 20:17pm on September 17, with the wrestling team arriving a few days later.

Follow the Australian team at the Ashgabat 2017 Games HERE.

Georgia Thompson
olympics.com.au

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