THE Bahrain delegation landed in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, yesterday to take part in the Fifth Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games, getting officially underway today.
More than 65 countries – including 45 from Asia, will compete in 21 disciplines for a total of 341 gold medals.
The official opening ceremony will be staged at the newly-build Ashgabat Olympic Stadium.
Bahrain athletes will be taking part in three disciplines in the 12-day event - jiu jitsu, taekwondo and wrestling.
The jiu jitsu team includes administrator Ahmed Janahi, coach Reza Monfaradi and athletes Ali Ibrahimi, Mohammed Abu Idris, Ahmed Mansoor, Nejad Al Gusaibi and Ali Monfaradi.
Head coach Tawfeeq Nuwaiser leads a three-member taekwondo team - Wala Al Dossary, Juana Mousa and Jumana Mousa. The trio started training yesterday in Ashgabat ahead of the taekwondo event on Tuesday. The taekwondo draw was held yesterday.
Adam Batirov will be the lone athlete representing Bahrain in wrestling. Batirov, the former Asian champion, is coached by Mahmood Magomedov.
Meanwhile, Bahrain Royal Equestrian and Endurance Federation president and Bahrain chef de mission Shaikh Faisal bin Rashid Al Khalifa arrived in Ashgabat yesterday to deputise for His Majesty King Hamad at today’s opening ceremony.
This event is the first OCA Games to be held in the Central Asian country. The host city was granted the rights in Kuwait on December 19, 2010.
More than 7,500 athletes will contest in various disciplines, including track cycling, equestrian jumping, taekwondo, weightlifting, wrestling, basketball, athletics, football, swimming and tennis.
The 11 non-Olympic events include bowling, chess, billiards, dance sport, ju-jitsu, kickboxing, kurash, muaythai, sambo, belt wrestling and traditional wrestling.