ASHGABAT, Nov. 30 (Xinhua) -- Turkmenistan will take the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games of 2017 as a platform for future long-term sports success, senior Turkmenistan sports officials said on Friday.
Turkmenistan will invest nearly five billion U.S. dollars to construct sports facilities for the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games, which are to be the first ever major international sports event they will hold, according to Azat Muradov, secretary general of Turkmenistan National Olympic Committee.
"Through the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games, we want to show to the world what we can do. After that, we will probably apply to host Asian Games and even Olympic Games," he said at the inaugural Turkmenistan International Sports Media Forum which came to a close on Friday afternoon after a tour of Ashgabat's Olympic Complex - the development which will host the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games.
The Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in 2017 will see 17 different sport competitions take place over 11 days - with an expected 5,000 athletes from 62 different countries competing at the Complex's brand new, state-of-the-art venues.
The chairman of the State Committee of Turkmenistan for Sport, Batyr Orazov has a long-term consideration of the project.
"This has been a much-anticipated project as everybody looks ahead to the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in 2017. But this development will serve for much longer than these Games - we hope to host many future international sporting events here," he said.
"The building of Ashgabat's Olympic Complex is just the beginning for hosting international sport in Turkmenistan," he said.
Project Coordinator of the Ashgabat Olympic Complex construction project, Osman Karakus, is confident that they will make ready first-class facilities for the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games.
"The Olympic Complex is a purpose built area with modern, state-of-the-art facilities which athletes will look forward to performing in, in 2017. Rapid developments in construction mean that the area will be completely ready well ahead of Ashgabat hosting the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games," he said.
Ashgabat's Olympic Complex is made up of 15 venues, including two indoor arenas, a velodrome, an indoor athletics facility, tennis center and an aquatic center. An athletes' village is also being built, and is set to contain 12,000 beds once completed.
Already 400,000km of cabling has been laid under the complex and the 800-room luxury media hotel is already 80% complete.
Michael Cole, former London 2012 Marketing and Communications Director for BT Global Services, was impressed by the complex.
"I have seen a number of sporting complexes and Olympic parks. Ashgabat's Olympic complex is an exceptional development where athletes will be proud to represent their countries at the 2017 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games, and at other major international sporting events that I am sure Turkmenistan will host in the future," he said.