Ashgabat played host to an inspection visit ahead of the 2017 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games ©Getty Images

Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) President Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah has praised "excellent progress" made by organisers ahead of next year's Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games (AIMAG) in Ashgabat.

Sheikh Ahmad, also President of the Association of National Olympic Committees, was welcomed by the President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, who also heads the Turkmenistan National Olympic Committee. 

The Kuwaiti was "delighted to see that preparations are well ahead of schedule with the new world-class Olympic Complex already complete", a statement claimed afterwards.

The Olympic Complex, located on the historical Silk Road, represents the coming together of the new and the old in Turkmenistan and is one of the most "state-of-the-art facilities in the world".

The Athletes’ Village, which will host more than 5,000 athletes from 62 countries across Asia and Oceania, is also fully finished and the new airport is said to be three months away from completion.

Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah pictured on his inspection visit to Ashgabat ©OCA
Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah pictured on his inspection visit to Ashgabat ©OCA

“I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate H.E. Berdimuhamedov, the Turkmenistan NOC and everyone involved in the preparations for the AIMAG 2017 on the excellent progress they have made," said Sheikh Ahmad.

"The OCA has been working closely with the Ashgabat 2017 Executive Committee to ensure that our athletes have the optimum environment to compete at their very best in 2017 and I am sure that NOCs and their athletes will be delighted with the world-class venues and facilities here in Ashgabat.

“This is a very exciting time for sport in Turkmenistan and throughout Asia.

"We have seen here in Ashgabat, just as we saw in Sapporo last month for the Asian Winter Games, that countries in Asia are passionate about sport and are committed to harnessing its power to unite the region and create a more harmonious future.

"I have no doubt that Ashgabat will host a fantastic event next year and that it will leave a positive, lasting legacy for the country and the entire region.”

Action is due to take place in the Turkmenistan capital from September 15 to 24 next year.

All 45 Asian NOCs as well 17 from Oceania are due to compete.