Launch of Countdown Timer of V Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games

On 5 May 2016, President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov launched a 500-day relay horse race, which, having covered the entire country, will finish on the opening day of the 2017 Asian Games at the main arena of the Olympic Village in the capital. At the same time with this, a countdown timer of V Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games was launched.
In the state historical and cultural reserve « Nisa », near the walls of ancient fortress, an unprecedented horse race began in the country, organized at the initiative of the national leader in honour of the 500 days before the start of the Asian Games.
It brought together members of the country’s leadership and sports public. Many guests, including representatives of the Olympic Council of Asia, OCA member countries, as well as foreign media came specially to participate in these events.
At the venue of the festival an exhibition was organised on the achievements and successes of Turkmenistan in various spheres of public life and society, including in sports. Particular attention was drawn to products with the symbol of the 2017 Asian Games –  all kinds of souvenirs, textiles, accessories with the national embroidery, gift sets, etc. The exhibition was complemented by paintings and sculptures, depicting horses or reflecting the theme of sports and national heritage.
In his speech, the President of Turkmenistan and the President of the National Olympic Committee of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov said that the horse run, a blessing to which is given in the ancient Nisa, which is recognized as an integral part of human heritage and is included in the World Heritage List of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), is a great start to V Asian games.
At all times, it is impossible to imagine life of our brave nation without a horse, the Turkmen leader said.
The leader of the nation also expressed a heartfelt gratitude to the President of the Olympic Council of Asia Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah for his great personal contribution to the further development of cooperation between Turkmenistan and the Olympic Council of Asia.
In his speech, President of the Olympic Council of Asia and the Association of National Olympic Committees Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah also noted the historic significance of today’s event – the start of the horse race throughout the country in honor of the beginning of the 500-day countdown to V Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games.
Head of OCA expressed confidence that V Asian Games will be held at the highest organizational level and will be critical to strengthening the ties of friendship and brotherhood between the peoples of the region.
The head of state congratulated all participants of the ceremony on this historic occasion, wished the jigits, as well as accompanying them creative figures, scientists, representatives of public organizations and representatives of the media, « Bon voyage! Welcome back! ». In these moments on the big screen, installed in front of the stage, the countdown on the clock begins, where with the first passing second the number of remaining days « 500 » is changed to « 499 ».
A horseback procession led by three riders with the flags of Turkmenistan and the OCA and the Asian Games torch in the middle, sets off on a journey under the sound of a solemn song.
President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and the head of the Olympic Council of Asia Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah exchanged a strong fraternal handshake as a sign of the firm confidence that V Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games will be held in Ashgabat at a high level and will increase the international prestige of Turkmenistan as a sports power and will contribute to the development of sports throughout the world.