ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan: President Mamnoon Hussain on Saturday reached Turkmenistan for a three-day official visit to attend the Opening Ceremony of fifth Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games being held in Ashgabat.
Upon his arrival, the president was received by Turkmenistan’s Deputy Prime Minister Dadebay Amangeldiyev at the Ashgabat International Airport.
First Lady Begum Mehmooda Mamnoon Hussain and the Minister of State for Petroleum Jam Kamal also accompanied the president.
The president and the first lady were also presented bouquets by a young Turkmen boy and a girl, clad in sports gear. They were also served a bread loaf as a traditional welcome gesture.
The 12 day-games – having a motto of ‘Health, Inspiration, Friendship’ – will take place at the Ashgabat Olympic Complex from September 17 to September 27, and in which about 5,500 athletes from 64 Countries will compete in 21 Sports events at 15 different venues.
The participating Countries include 45 members of the Olympic Council of Asia as well as 17 members of Oceania National Olympic Committees.
A 130-member Pakistan contingent has already reached Ashgabat to participate in Athletics, Billiards Sports, Ju-Jitsu, Swimming, Taekwondo, Tennis, Weightlifting, Wrestling and Belt Wrestling.
The Opening Ceremony of the 2017 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games will take place at Olympic Stadium in Ashgabat on September 17 while the Closing Ceremony will be held on September 27 at the same venue.
The first edition of fifth Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games or also called the fifth Asian Indoor Games was held in 2005.
It’s first time that Turkmenistan – one of former Soviet Union Republics – is hosting a multi-sport event.