Ï International hockey tournament started in Ashgabat

International hockey tournament started in Ashgabat

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International hockey tournament started in Ashgabat
Meretdurdy Rozyyev

Today, the Turkmen capital hosted the opening ceremony of an international ice hockey tournament, in which club teams from ten countries in Europe and Asia take part.

In the era of the Revival of the new epoch of  the powerful state, thanks to a comprehensive strategy initiated by the National Leader of the Turkmen people, Chairman of the Halk Maslahaty Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and now successfully implemented by President Serdar Berdimuhamedov, domestic sports have reached qualitatively new levels.

As a member of the International Olympic Committee and the Olympic Council of Asia, our state makes a worthy contribution to the development of the international Olympic movement. Realizing its sporting potential in the name of peace and friendship, Turkmenistan systematically strengthens and increases cooperation with the international community.

A clear example of this is the V Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games, which were triumphantly held in 2017 in Ashgabat in the arenas of the universal Olympic village with the participation of more than 5,000 of the strongest athletes from 62 countries, including from Oceania, who competed for medals in 21 types of sports. In 2018, at the initiative of Turkmenistan, the UN General Assembly established World Bicycle Day, which is widely celebrated on June 3 every year.

In the same year, our country hosted the «Amul-Hazar 2018» International Rally, the route of which ran along the route of the historical Great Silk Road, and the World Weightlifting Championships with great success. And last year, for the second time, the Turkmen capital became the venue for the Central Asian team tennis championship among boys and girls under 12 years old and for the first time the World Kurash Wrestling Championship, the organization of which received the highest praise from the relevant International Federations.

It is also appropriate to note that in 2014, the «Avaza» National Tourist Zone hosted the Windsurfing World Cup, with which our country entered the calendar of international sailing tournaments for the first time.

And now Ashgabat is hosting another representative hockey tournament. In order to hold the competition at a high level, the President of Turkmenistan Serdar Berdimuhamedov signed the Resolution, creating the Organizing Committee and approving its composition.

The rapid development of hockey in Turkmenistan in recent years is associated with the name of the National Leader of the Turkmen people, Hero-Arkadag, on whose initiative not only ice arenas were built in the country in Ashgabat and the «Avaza» National Tourist Zone, but also hockey clubs were created, and various events are regularly held. competitions, including the national championship.

The first domestic tournament for the Turkmenistan President's Hockey Cup took place in 2012. The following year, these competitions already acquired international status. In 2015, another national hockey tournament appeared in the country’s sports calendar in honour of the National Flag Day of Turkmenistan.

In 2017, the hockey players of the Turkmenistan national team created a real sensation by winning small gold medals at the second division tournament held as part of the VIII Asian Winter Games in Sapporo (Japan). And the following year they won a qualifying tournament in Sarajevo with the participation of four teams, including the teams of Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and for the first time won the right to compete in the third division of the World Cup in 2019. Since then, Turkmen hockey players have been regular participants in world championships in the third division, in which they often take prizes.

The hockey players of the junior hockey team of Turkmenistan have also achieved noticeable success over the past two years. In 2023, in competition with the teams of Iran, Mongolia, the United Arab Emirates, Thailand and Uzbekistan, they won silver medals at the first Asian and Oceania Championship among players under 18 years of age, held in Ulaanbaatar. And this year, the wards of Guvanch Jepbarov and Maksat Atayev achieved the same success in the third division of Group «B» of the World Junior Championship (U18), which was held in Cape Town with the participation of teams from Hong Kong, Thailand, Turkmenistan and South Africa.

Another evidence of the enormous attention paid in our country to the development and popularization of winter sports and international contacts in this area was the participation of the National Leader of the Turkmen people Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov in the opening ceremony of the XXII and XXIV Winter Olympic Games in 2014 in Sochi (Russia) and in 2022 in Beijing (China).

Meanwhile, in the stands of the 10,000-seat indoor ice arena of the Sports Complex on winter types of sports, where all matches of the tournament will be held, and a festive atmosphere reign. Everyone is excitedly awaiting the start of the celebration, which marks the start of the competition, the events of which will now be followed by a wide audience of fans.

The long-awaited moment is coming. The national flags of the countries participating in the tournament are brought into the arena of the sports complex. The official part of its opening begins.

In a solemn atmosphere, the welcoming Address of the President of Turkmenistan Serdar Berdimuhamedov is read out, which notes that along with the expansion of the mass physical culture and health movement, in independent neutral Turkmenistan special attention is paid to the development of high-achievement sports through the training of professional athletes, coaches and specialized specialists, as well as the activation of international cooperation.

«Continuing the noble traditions of our ancestors, who since ancient times revered sport as a symbol of peace and friendship, we consider it an important area of partnership with countries of the world, a global factor in strengthening friendly ties between peoples», -the head of state emphasized, expressing confidence that the upcoming competition, which is an important event in the sports life of the Fatherland, will help strengthen international cooperation in this area, strengthen peace and friendship on the planet, popularize and implement the principles of the Olympic movement, improve the skills and experience of hockey players.

The Welcome Address of the President of Turkmenistan was heard with great enthusiasm and greeted with thunderous applause.

The climax arrives: the international tournament is declared open! The National Anthem of Turkmenistan is being performed, to the majestic sounds of which the emerald banner of the sacred Flag of the Motherland rises above the stands.

At the end of the official part of the ceremony, a musical and theatrical performance was performed by cultural and artistic figures and students of sports schools.

To the music of dutar and horn, figure skaters perform exhibition numbers. At the same time, a video about the beauty of Turkmen nature, national values, the wealth of our country and achievements in sports is shown on the monitors of the Sports Complex.

And of course, what would a holiday be without the fiery ancient magical dance kushtdepdi! Being a kind of personification of the inextricable connection of times and generations, it has become an integral part of not only the national, but also the world cultural heritage. Thus, by decision of UNESCO, kushtdepdi was included in the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

The bright final chord of the celebration was the song «Gahryman Arkadagym, Arkadagly Gahryman Serdarym», which was picked up by the entire audience.