Ï Athletes of Turkmenistan joined participants of the Asian Games at the Athletes’ Village
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Athletes of Turkmenistan joined participants of the Asian Games at the Athletes’ Village

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Athletes of Turkmenistan joined participants of the Asian Games at the Athletes’ Village
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Alexander Vershinin

Thousands of athletes and officials from different countries of the continent continue to arrive in the Chinese city of Hangzhou, where the opening ceremony of the XIX Asian Summer Games, including with the participation of athletes of Turkmenistan, will be held next Saturday.

For the upcoming Asian Games, a Village has been built on an area of 1.13 million square meters, which is a large complex of three main parts, ready to take 20 thousand athletes, technicians and journalists. 

The media village is located to the northwest of the Athletes' Village with an area of 660,000 square meters. There are workplaces for journalists, canteens, recreation rooms and other areas. It is expected that 3,000 media representatives will live in the Media Village during the Games. The 740,000-square-metre Technical Workers' Village will accommodate another 4,000 specialists.

The Athletes’ Village covers 799 thousand square meters. 37 high-rise residential buildings have been built here for athletes from 45 countries. These are mostly 26-story buildings. But there are two and 38 stories.

The team of Turkmenistan settled in the Athletes' Village on Monday, occupying floors 3 through 5 in the 26-storey building. The delegation of the Kyrgyz Republic is located above - on 9-11 floors.

About 12,500 athletes from 45 countries are expected to live in the Village at the height of the Asian Games. For their services, there are provided buses, which will take them to dozens of training facilities on a daily schedule, as well as a huge canteen for 4200 seats. So far, the canteen has been operating strictly on schedule. But after the opening of the Games, it will work almost around the clock until 1 am. The Village also has a fitness center with a 25-meter swimming pool and gym, shopping center, medical clinic, cultural center where guests can get acquainted with the art of Chinese wushu, kung fu and circus, and even a religious center with prayer rooms for representatives of different faiths.

Athletes can travel across the vast territory of the Village by electric cars, which run on a predetermined route with a high frequency in time, as well as by bicycles, which can be rented free of charge from 9:00 to 22:00 at each residential building and dining room.

There is a square in the Athletes’ Village, where «Welcome ceremonies» are solemnly held for the teams participating in the Asian Games. For the delegation of Turkmenistan, such a welcoming ceremony is planned for 22 September.

Another athlete - international master of sports swimming Merdan Ataev, who had to commit almost 15 hour flight from Dushanbe via Istanbul to Hangzhou, joined to the team of Turkmenistan on the second day of stay in the capital of the eastern Chinese province of Zhejiang.

28-year-old ward of honored coach of Turkmenistan Sergey Epifanov performed very successfully in the capital of Tajikistan, where the international swimming tournament was held on the occasion of the Fifth Consultative Meeting of the Heads of States of Central Asia and the next meeting of the Council of Heads of the Founding States of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea. In competition with swimmers from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, Merdan won two gold medals in 50 and 100 meters backstroke. At the end of all three days of competition, our compatriots brought 11 medals to the team: 2 gold, 5 silver and 4 bronze.

It should be noted that this year was very successful for Merdan Atayev, the participant of the last two Olympic Games, who specializes in backstroke swimming. He won 7 gold and 1 silver medal in three international competitions. Before the tournament in Dushanbe, Merdan won three gold medals in the 50, 100 and 200 meters at the Asian Age Group Championship in Bangkok. He won two more gold in the 100 and 200 meters and one silver in the 50 meters at the Open Championship of Uzbekistan the qualifying for the 2024Olympic Games.

In total, to date, M.Atayev has 28 medals, including 12gold, 11 silver and 5 bronze. He also holds six records of Turkmenistan in big and small pools in the 50, 100 and 200 metres.

Four days before the opening of the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, the weather turned hot. Today, the air temperature in the Asian Games capital has risen to 35 degrees C, which feels like 43 degrees at the high humidity here. Air conditioners are running in all buildings of the village. And in the open air, numerous volunteers and members of the local community are saving themselves from the scorching rays of the sun with umbrellas.

«We are afraid of getting burnt, so all the volunteers and service staff of the Asian Games had to buy umbrellas», - said , Russian-speaking Chinese woman Sy Zhaodi or Zhenya, as she calls herself  by her feminine Russian name, who works as an interpreter at the Asian Games, including with Turkmen athletes.

Sy Zhaodi is a second-year graduate student at the Russian Language Faculty at Heilongjiang University in Harbin in northeastern China. In order to get a job as a translator at the Asian Games in Hangzhou, she had to pass the toughest selection process among students.

«Working at the Asian Games is a great honor for me and a good opportunity to improve my speaking practice in Russian», Sy Zhaodi admitted.

According to her, at the Asian Games in Hangzhou she was glad to meet a «friendly team from Turkmenistan», the athletes of which impressed her with «politeness, goodwill and sociability».

«Sportsmen of Turkmenistan are very optimistic because they always have a smile on their face,» stressed Sy Zhaodi.

The task of Turkmen athletes at the Asian Games is to raise as high as possible the authority and prestige of domestic sports, for which the country is doing a lot, including under the personal patronage of President Serdar Berdimuhamedov and the National Leader of the Turkmen people Hero-Arkadag. Issues of further development of the Olympic movement, mass physical training and sports of the highest achievements have been raised to the rank of the state policy of Turkmenistan.

On the first day of their stay in the Athletes' Village, Turkmen athletes began intensive training in an effort to please their compatriots on the eve of the 32nd anniversary of the country’s independence. Let’s wish them good luck at the sports arenas of Hangzhou!