Dubai: An 80-member contingent, including 55 athletes representing seven sporting disciplines, has been confirmed to represent the UAE at the 2017 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games to be held in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan next month.
The 2017 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games, which is also counted as the 5th Asian Indoor Games, will be held in the former Soviet Central Asian republic from September 17 to 27.
The event will feature a total of 21 sports, including 5 Olympic disciplines (cycling, equestrian, taekwondo, weightlifting and wrestling) and another 5 Olympic sports contested only in non-Olympic formats (basketball, athletics, football, swimming and tennis). Above all these there will be another 11 non-Olympic sports, namely bowling, chess, cue sports, dancesport, ju-jitsu, kickboxing, kurash, muaythai, sambo, belt wrestling and traditional wrestling during the 11-day event.
The UAE National Olympic Committee (UAE NOC) met at its headquarters earlier this week and ratified a list of 55 athletes and an additional 25 members who will be administrators, coaches and physiotherapists accompanying the teams.
The UAE will be sending athletes for track and field, billiards, bowling, cycling, chess, jiu-jitsu and a futsal squad for the Games.
Mohammad Bin Darwish, Executive Director, UAE NOC, reviewed the meeting of representatives from the various associations along with Brigadier Abdul Malik Jani, Director, National Olympic Academy and Ahmad Al Tayeb, Director of Technical and Sports Affairs.
The representatives from various associations discussed ways of delivering the best results on the continental stage while portraying a good image of the UAE through their participation.
“We have a system wherein we want to ensure inputs from participating associations so that we are best prepared to bring in the medals. Such meetings are important as we get vital feedback from all concerned so that the UAE can continue in its position as one of the top sports-loving nations in the world,” Bin Darwish said.
“Each association has an identity of its own and it is important that we keep the communication open so that we can be better prepared to know the system of various events and the latest developments being made in the field of sports,” he added.
All 45 member countries of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) are scheduled to compete at the Games, and for the first time ever the Asian Games will be attended by another 19 nations belonging to the Oceania National Olympic Association (ONOA) with athletes from these countries under full participation and eligible to win medals.
The lone exception will be the Kuwait Olympic Committee (KOC) as the Gulf national continues to serve its suspension since October 2015 due to political interference. However, the athletes from Kuwait will compete under the Olympic flag as Independent Olympic Athletes.
Close to 5,000 athletes representing 63 countries will participate for 341 medals on offer at 30 different venues during the eleven days of competition.