A series of test events in the run up to the 5th Asian Indoor & Martial Arts Games in Ashgabat, Turkemistan have proved a success.
Asian Weightlifting Federation President Mohammed Yousef Al Mana has given full marks to the organisers of the Senior Asian Weightlifting Championships, which was one of the test events for Ashgabat 2017, which takes place from 17-27 September.
The Inspiring Ashgabat Test Event Series also included the Asian Kickboxing Confederation Championships and the Central Asian Short Course Swimming Tournament, and took place at the state-of-the art Ashgabat Olympic Complex between 23-30 April.
The complex includes over 30 different sites, including 15 competition venues and the athletes’ village.
Over the seven days of test events, 144 medals were won by 12 countries, with China leading the medal table with 36 medals in total (22 gold, eight silver, six bronze).
Al Mana was impressed with the high-level organisation of the Senior Asian Weightlifting Championships. He said:
For many of us, this is our first visit to Turkmenistan for a sports event. The organisers were very professional in their preparations for the competition and I’m very impressed. The people here are very generous and each of them know exactly what to do. Believe me when I say that in terms of organisation, the Asian event is as good as any competition conducted by the International Weightlifting Federation.
He had predicted that fans would watch competition of a World Championship-standard, and he was not mistaken. He added:
The last major competition in weightlifting was at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. Asian lifters won 13 of the 15 gold medals on offer there. Only two gold medals went out of Asia – one to Latin America and another to Europe. So any Asian weightlifting event is practically just like the World Championships in terms of quality.
He added that the competition was about more than just the sport; it also provided an invaluable test of operational readiness of the state-of-the-art Ashgabat Olympic Complex before the historic 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in September.
There will be 21 sports included in the Games. In addition to the 19 sports originally involved in the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games, Turkmen traditional wrestling Goresh, and Equestrian Jumping have been added to the competition schedule.