ASHGABAT - Hosts Turkmenistan won the Asian Championship of Turkmen National Goresh and Belt Wrestling Championship 2016, after securing 95 medals, as the mega event concluded here at the Martial Art Complex, Olympic Stadium on Wednesday.

Turkmenistan athletes won 42 gold’s, 27 silver’s and 26 bronze medals with total of 95 medals. They were followed by Uzbekistan in the second position with 4 gold’s, as many silver’s and 22 bronze medals with total of 30 medals while Kyrgyzstan, who were occupying second place till the last day had to settled for third place, with 3 gold’s, 4 silver’s and 15 bronze medals with total of 22 medals. Kazakhstan secured 4th place with 1 gold, 9 silver’s and 16 bronze medals with total of 26 medals, Tajikistan remained 5th with 1 gold, 5 silver’s and 3 bronze medals with total of 9 medals, Iran grabbed 6th place with 2 silver and 11 bronze medals with total of 13 medals. Pakistani girl’s helped country to secure 7th place with 3 bronze medals won by Ambreen Masih and Humira Ashiq.

It was truly a remarkable performance by the Pakistani girls, keeping in mind they were without coach, as due to visa issues, only Ambreen and Humira travelled to participate in the championship. Humira could have added another medal on the last day of the championship, but both she and Ambreen had to catch the flight back home so she had to forfeit the fight, which could have easily given Humira at least another Bronze medal.

It was a highly organised event, which was keenly participated by 14 countries and above all the passionate crowd starting from different age groups added colors to the success of the event, it was on second day in running pack to capacity crowd, which were waving Turkmenistan national flags, chanting slogans in their players favour and backing them, it was hard to hear any voice, as highly charged up crowd was making full noise. Jam-packed stadium was buzzing as closing ceremony was marked with medal distribution ceremony. Different past and present champions of the hosts nation were invited to distribute prizes among the shinning athletes. Others especially Pakistan should also follow the same example. Turkmenistan give too much respect to their sporting heroes, and treat them as icons, unlike of Pakistan, where athletes despite winning laurels for country, never get the respect, which they deserve.

It was a great view, as stands were filed with different age groups and all of them were dressed up in national colour track suits, each and every spectator was provided with national color flag, track suit, transport from their residence to the venue and back home, meal, water and ever stand was provided with volunteers, who were properly guiding the spectators. International journalists who arrived from different countries were provided with best possible assistance at the venue. Separate media boxes were allocated, which were equipped with basis facilities and there was a space allocated, where journalists can take interviews of participating athletes and officials. The games were declared closed in a simple but highly colorful grand closing ceremony soon after the medals distribution ceremony concluded.

The conducting of the event was a full dress rehearsal for the coming Vth Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games 2017, which would be held in Ashgabat in November 2017. On December 19, 2010 Olympic Council of Asia, the National Olympic Committee of Turkmenistan and the administration of Ashgabat city signed an agreement in Kuwait City, for conducting the Vth Asian indoor and martial arts games in Ashgabat.

In 2010 the foundation for the Olympic Village was laid in Ashgabat, the arenas where the Vth Asian Games would be held, the largest in the region Olympic Village would be located on an area of 157 hectares.

The complex includes over 30 different facilities, social-living, transportation and other infrastructures. Total cost of the facilities is $5 billion; construction of the village was carried out in three stages, the first stage of construction was completed in 2014 and second in December 2015,

In November 27-28, 2014 in Ashgabat, during the signing ceremony of the document on the participation for the first time of Oceania countries, the President proposed to include in the program of Vth Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in 2017, in addition to the previously agreed 19 sports, the Turkmen national wrestling named Goresh and horseback riding (konkur), President of Turkmenistan proposal was accepted by the Olympic Council of Asia and jointly approved.

These Games were included and now a total of 21 games would be conducted, which include, Chess, Futsal, Tennis, Muay, Sambo, Kurash, Ju-Jitsu, Bowling, Cycling Track, Short Course Swimming 25m, Basketball 3/3, Weightlifting, Indoor Athletics, Taekwondo, Dance Sports, Kickboxing, Belt wrestling, Wrestling, Billiard Sports, Equestrian (Jumping) and Traditional Wrestling.