IFMA muaythai thrilled to be part of this exciting Opening Ceremony  IMAGE: Ashgabat 2017

Over two hours of spectacular dance, music and sporting action athletes from around Asia and Oceania were welcomed to Ashgabat for the Asian Indoor Martial Arts Games.

Due to the high number of muaythai athletes taking part, some bouts already took place before the ceremony. But all the teams were in place to join in the athletes’ parade and enjoy the sights. 

A reception took place beforehand in the Olympique Hotel.

In the stadium everyone in the audience had a LED device which lit up at certain key points including the Athletes’ Parade – a fantastic sight for all and great excitement for the muaythai athletes to be part of this.

Among the highlights acts were the traditional equestrian show, showcasing a central part of Turkman culture. The cauldron is now lit for the duration of the Games!

Weplay, mascot for the AIMAG stands with the crowds

IFMA General Secretary Stephan Fox said the event was a great tribute to the hard work of the Asghabat Committee, and he was proud that IFMA muaythai athletes are part of such a huge event. Head of the FAMA, IFMA’s Asian executive, Dato Shah- accompanied by FAMA General secretary Mervyn Tan –  said he is now looking forward to the sporting events which he is sure will shine as brightly as the lights of the ceremony.

The Chairman of the 5th AIMAG Executive Committee, Mr Dayanch Gulgeldiyev, called the Opening Ceremony an important event in country’s history.

“As well as bring the Opening Ceremony for the biggest edition of the Games to date, it is a proud moment for all of us that have been involved in working towards this day over the past seven years,” he said.

Opening Ceremony with traditional Turkman sports

And now for the athletes’s turn to shine. Over the 12-days of competition at Ashgabat 2017, 4500 athletes from 65 delegations will compete in 347 medal events across 21 sports.

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More stunning images from the Opening Ceremony on Ashgabat 2017.