By Ijaz Ahmad Khan
ASHGABAT (Turkmenistan), Sept 17 (APP): Pakistan got a flying start taking one gold, one silver and four bronze medals on the opening day of
the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games, which is going to be formally kicking off Sunday with 65 participating countries across Asia and over
6000 athletes are taking part in 21 different disciplines.
Pakistan Shahzeb Nawaz and Muhammad Rafique in Duo Show final upset Thailand on a better points and stunning demonstration witnessed by a jamp-packed indoor Complex.
Shahzeb and Muhammad Rafique earlier upset Turkmenistan’s Ahmad Tanriberdiyew and Yousaf Tanriberdyew, the two twin brothers after taking
a bye in the opening round.
There were just a five point as Shahzeb and Muhammad Rafique secured 45 points against 44.5 of strong Thailand pair, leaving a difference of point 5. It was certainly a close fight and both Shahzeb Nawaz and Muhammad Rafique in a jubilation thanked Almighty Allah by kissing the floor. It
is the first gold medal of the Games for Pakistan.
Talking to APP, both Shehbaz Nawaz and Rafique expressed their jubilation by winning gold medal. “We have hard training back home and certainly winning gold medal was a target after recording victory against host Turkmenistan. Turkmenistan was a strong team too so we had in mind
that we can beat Thailand because of boosting of our moral,” they added.
Pakistan is struggling behind Turkmenistan and Thailand in Jujitsu, a Korean form of Martial Art by taking one silver and three bronze medals. Host Turkmenistan got two gold medals and two silver medal, Thailand with two gold medal and one silver and one bronze medal at second while Tajikistan with two bronze medal at fourth and Vietnam with two bronze
medal at fifth.
The two early Game events Pakistan grabbed two silver and three
bronze medals in jujitsu, one bronze medal in traditional wrestling.
The international Abu Hurrara and Ammar in duo grabbed silver medals
by defeating Tajikistan and tied with Thailand for the silver medal on 80 points each which both teams stretched to golden point and Pakistan pair, Ammar and Abu Hurrara claimed the golden point by grabbing silver medal before losing the gold medal fight to host Turkmenistan.
In Women Duo show classic event Sonia Manzoor and Komal Emmanul grabbed bronze medals with Thailand won the gold medal and Turkmenistan took silver medal respectively.
Pakistan lost to Turkmenistan, Vietnam and defeated arch-rival India
to before winning the bronze medal.
In the Women Duo Show the same pair won the bronze medal with Thailand won the gold medal and Turkmenistan won the silver medal and in the mixed duo Classic Pakistan another pair of Shahbaz Nawaz Janjua and Rafique Siddique lost to Turkmenistan and Thailand and recorded victory against Tajikistan by winning bronze medal.
Pakistan also reached to the final of the Men Duo Show in Jujitsu and
in a position to win gold medal, the first will be of the Games, if they would succeed in beating Thailand but it is certain that Pakistan have a silver medal in the same event either it won or lost.
In the traditional wrestling Ambareen Massih won bronze medal in 58kg weight while her sister Humaira lost.
The overall medal so far, host Turkmenistan got overall 10 medals, two gold, two silver and 6 bronze medal, followed by Thailand with four
medals – two gold medal, one silver and one bronze medal while Pakistan taking overall third position with five medals with one silver and four bronze medal, Tajikistan struggling at fourth with six bronze medal and Uzbekistan remained at fifth with 6 bronze medals and Iran at sixth with three bronze medal.
Talking to APP, both Abu Hurrara and Muhammad Ammar were so jubilant. “We prepared for one month rigorous training back home training for winning the gold medal but we lost badly and just grabbed the silver medal,” said Abu Hurrara and Muhammad Ammar.
“We both won five medals for Pakistan since 2010 with three gold medal and two silver medals. We have a silver medal in World Champion in 2015 besides getting the honor of qualifying for World Games held in Poland
Earlier, a smart 135-member contingent of Pakistan led by Chef de Mission Amjad Ali Khan was warmly received with Turkmenistanian Olympic Officials.
The Turkmen children chanted slogans ‘long lasting Pakistan-Turkmenistan friendship’ at the bird-like newly constructed international airport like other 65 participating countries of Asia.
Pakistan is taking part in nine different Games comprising Athletic, Belt Wrestling, Free Wrestling, Greco-Roman Wrestling, Traditional Wrestling, Tennis, Taekwondo, Kick-Boxing, Weightlifting.
As far the opening ceremony all is set for much-anticipated event on Sunday evening with Ashgabat is illuminated with multi-colours light, colourful fountains, multi-banners inside the Olympic City and roads lead
to the Olympic City.
In a media briefing Chairman Olympic Committee of Asia Charles Lo, CEO Games James Bulley, Operation Manager Games Annasuket KAKAYAV informed that all is set to open the most awaited Games and Turkmenistan is the first Central Asian Country to host any of the OCA event Turkmenistan’s President Gurbanguly Berglimuhamedow along with other invited dignitaries including President of Pakistan Mamnoon Hussain will formally grace the opening ceremony.
The ceremony will be held at the newly built Ashgabat Olympic Stadium. The impressive venue located at the center of the complex is a one of a
kind facility and set to leave a long lasting legacy for Turkmen sports, especially as a football and athletics venue.
Starting with the 45,000 – seating Olympic Stadium, Ashgabat 2017
boasts some truly impressive numbers, with a massive cast of characters, incredible feats of engineering and infrastructure, intricate arrangements in catering, and a slew of other preparations completed to accommodate the incoming athletes from Asia and Oceania.
There are 45 countries of Asia and 19 Oceana Countries, as well as one refugee team competing under the Olympic banner – a first for the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games.
The number of sports slated for the Ashgabat 2017 programme,
including everything from Belt Wrestling to Track Cycling, with four of those sports part of the Olympic Games programme.
There are 351 medal events and a total of 1870 medals would be awarded. A total of 15 different venues prepared according to international needs
for the competitions spread out across the 1.5 sqr-km Ashgabat Olympic Complex. Out of the 15 venues 13 venues are newly built, state of the art facilities in par with the best in the world, while two facilities have
been fully upgraded for the Games.
There are 700,000 numbers of tickets available for spectators to view the 220 sport sessions on the Ashgabat 2017 program, with ticket costs between 7-10 TMT (US $3).
There will be 7000 young performers prepared for the most awaited opening and closing ceremonies with 8000 devoted volunteers helping the visitors to this beautiful Ashgabat City, famous at White Marbal City.