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World experts gather for Turkmenistan sports media forum

ABU joined forty of the world’s sports media from 23 countries in attending the inaugural Turkmenistan International Sports Media Forum in the country’s capital, Ashgabat.

The international media are being joined by 80 foreign correspondents and local media for the forum discussions ahead of Turkmenistan hosting their first-ever major international sporting event, the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games 2017.

The forum began with a welcome address by the Chairman of the State Committee of Turkmenistan for Sport, Batyr Orazov, who said it was a great honour for Turkmenistan to be hosting so many media from the sports world.

“We look forward to sharing best practice with them and receiving the benefit of their experience ahead of hosting our first major international sporting event,” he said.

Gianni Merlo, the President of International Sports Press Association (AIPS) – which is partnering the forum – said in his keynote address that the Association was well placed to help emerging nations use sport as a way of communicating internationally.

“We are looking forward to our members sharing their views and best practice with the Turkmen authorities,” he said. “These are exciting times for sport in Turkmenistan.”

Patrick Furlong, Advisor at the ABU Sport Department, said the international contingent was left with a very positive view of the country.

“I hope that the success of this forum will lead to more such events in the future, and the ABU will certainly support such events when and where possible,” he said.