Ashgabat in Turkmenistan hosts the Asian Indoor Martial Arts Games 2017 this week and Team Turkemnistan muaythai are ready to host nakmuay from around the continent.
National coach Bashimow Orazmuhammed and some of the Turkman team spoke about their hopes and pride in flying the flag at home.
He said: ‘When the Federation was formed, we hardly had any athletes with us as no-one knew about the sport. Three months later, we organised the Turkmen National Championships and that’s how people began to notice us. Slowly, athletes from Boxing, Wushu, Karate and Kickboxing trickled in and the nucleus of the national team was born.’
Female athlete Nabat Batyrowa (60kg, a bronze medalist at the Asian Beach Games, said: ‘Now that the moment is so near, I’m mentally preparing myself for the challenge. I’m really excited. Competing at home could be nerve wracking, but I say bring it on.’
Rasul Rasulow swapped boxing for muaythai after 12 years in that sport, but says he has no regrets.
Read the full story on SportsKeeda Turkmenistan amateur muaythai team ready for Ashgabat 2017
Read more about Bashimow Orazmuhammed, Turmenistan muaythai coach in his Humans of IFMA interview last year.