Amul – Hazar 2018 rally has started in Lebap Velayat. As is known, this unprecedented race along the Silk Road has been initiated by President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov.
The fact of conducting Amul – Hazar 2018 rally, where the races from all over the world wished to participate, is another evidence of high international authority of Turkmenistan and recognition of the policy of peace, friendship and good neighbourliness pursued steadily by the Leader of the Nation.
Owing to the attention and efforts of the Head of the State, this grandiose project has been implemented six month after the idea of its organization has been proposed. Finally, this day has come! Racers from more than 20 countries like Great Britain, France, Czech Republic, Germany, Spain, Italy, Saudi Arabia and other have come to the city of Amudarya River. Geographical scale of the journalists and reporters, dozens of competent news agencies and international channels, sports internet portals is even bigger. From today, foreign spectators would be able to see the races by TV with their own eyes.
On the day before, the crews underwent administrative and technical inspections and studied the route. They have received the road maps composed of the road summary and location map, which the route runs through. Safety regulations, terms of the competitions and other details have been explained to the leaders of the race at the briefing. Ceremonial parade of the participants of the race received by Turkmen leader took place in the evening.
According to the rules of the rally, the start zone is subject to enclosed parking mode (area with limited access) where the crews brought their vehicles early in the morning. Shortly, everybody went to the starting point where the preparation to the first qualification round, the preface races, which defines starting positions of the first leg of the rally. The distance of qualification leg is 9 kilometres.
Before going to the start position, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov has donned his racing gear and made technical preparation of the vehicle.
Having arrived in his starting position, the Head of the State opened qualification round having driven his vehicle No. 100 on special track.
Being experienced sportsman and supporter of healthy life style, the President gives personal inspiring example to his compatriots especially to the youth. On that day, the Head of the State has demonstrated again his outstanding sport driving skills – his vehicle with number ‘100’ on the side has run off-road without reducing the speed at the turns and taking over natural obstacles.
After the leg, the President of Turkmenistan has a conversation with General Director of Africa Eco Race rally who was involved in implementation of Amul – Hazar 2018 project Jean Louis Schlesser who asked the Head of the State to share his impressions about the preface round.
In return, Turkmen leader congratulated famous racer on this sport events that started on the banks of Amudarya River. “Speaking of the track, it is obvious that like any other sportsman I was completely concentrated on it”, - President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov said.
Jean Louis Schlesser asked the opinion of the Head of the State about this grandiose event – International rally Amul – Hazar 2018 with the participation of numerous guests and about general idea of these competitions.
- Sport is always good as it unites the nations and countries. This is stability and peace on the planet. Therefore, I think that current competitions, where numerous sportsmen from different countries came, is great holiday. Eco rally raid Amul – Hazar 2018 is very important. Its name speaks that Turkmenistan has always been the heart of the Silk Road, which is revived in new format in our days. The participants of the competition will see historical route from Amul to Hazar with their own eyes; they will enjoy the beauty f the nature and landscapes of Turkmen land, its ancient monuments. The main route runs across Karakum Desert, which exoticism will inspire and give power to our guests, as I think, - the Head of the State answered.
Special attention has been paid to ecological status of the rally during the conversation. As this type of competitions is related with harmful CO2 emission, all ecological issues have been outlined among priority aspects during organization of the rally, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov said. Turkmenistan always pays great attention to environment protection in its policy, the Head of the State said, having highlighted that the participants of Amul – Hazar 2018 rally were provided with environmentally friendly fuel ECO 5 produced in Turkmenistan.
We also plan to produce environmentally friendly synthetic gasoline from natural gas, which will allow providing future development of this sport. The processes on the planet like global warming, natural disasters, etc., cause the formation of ecological responsibility and principle of careful treatment of the environment in the society. In this context, Turkmen leader highlighted that the United Nations General Assembly adopted relative Resolutions initiated by Turkmenistan.
Jean Louis Schlesser assured the Head of the State in the readiness and high interest of Africa Eco Race Organization in cooperation with our country as well as in the intent to tell to the whole world about the efforts taken by Turkmenistan to solve environment protection problems.
- Together with you, we have touched upon the subjects of eco rally raid related to ecological issues and environment, which is very topical today around the world, - President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov mentioned. The route of the rally Amul – Hazar 2018 is another important aspect. We give birth to new Silk Road, which plays significant role in transport and transit corridors sphere, formation of multimodal system and creation of modal highway and this is the main thing, the Head of the State highlighted. This is a matter of geo-economy and geo-politics and our initiatives f transport and transit corridors field were supported by relative Resolutions of the United Nations General assembly, the Head of the State highlighted.
Having expressed Jean Louis Schlesser for his significant work, the President noted high professional level of organisation team of current international competitions, having addressed them gratitude and wished success, happy journey and new achievements to the sportsmen.
The Head of the State and Jean Louis Schlesser exchanged the visions of special features of the route of Amul – Hazar 2018 race. French professional stated high organizational level of the competitions, having expressed the gratitude again to Turkmen leader Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov for support and personal participation as well as for the time spared for the conversation.
In the meantime, qualification races took place.
Thereafter, the first leg of the competitions, which distance is 247 kilometres, has started.
The vehicles of the participants of the rally, all 83 crews, took their positions on the start line of the first part and shortly, headed their way in equal intervals. The race has started!
Peculiar journey to the history of Turkmen nation has started together with the race as beside sport component of the competitions, the project Amul – Hazar 2018 has very important cultural mission opening an excellent opportunity to introduce unique heritage of the country to the world. Ancient settlement of Amul located next to the entry to Turkmenabat became the starting point of the rally raid.
Once upon a time, it used to be rich trade city with loud bazaars and boiling life in caravansaries. One of the main directions of the Silk Road run via this place. Diplomatic, economic, scientific relations between the West and East countries were supported along the track. The caravans of camels loaded with various goods were the main means of international cooperation and were protected by the rulers as saturating the markets of the countries they supported economic development.
Amul appeared in the flood plain of great Amudarya River in I – IV centuries as one of strategically important locations of Kushan Empire. Event today, melted walls of its palace and stronghold, which was used just 100 years ago, raise above the plain. The development of the city falls on IX – XII centuries when its ‘rabad’ (trade and industrial district) has reached 175 hectares in size, having become the crossroad of the main trade routes of the region.
President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov notes in his book “Turkmenistan – the Heart of the Great Silk Road” that active international contacts could not help influencing the development of cultures of various nations, through which countries they were made. That is why the Silk Road was one of the most important achievements of ancient civilizations, which allowed connecting various nations on huge spaces from Europe to China in the history of humankind. Therefore, it is quite obvious that it is not a certain city or monument but the Silk Road itself as historical and cultural phenomenon and as series of facilities, which were proposed for nomination to the World Heritage List by the UNESCO Committee proposal. Each country participating in this nomination including Turkmenistan have chosen several dozens of caravansaries, ancient strongholds, local sanctuaries and other facilities related to the main caravan routes.
It includes Amul as well, to touch the history of which the participants of the rally are able, having left from this place as a caravans in the old days through the space and time to Ancient Merv and the country of Margush. Of course, the speeds are different today and capability of equipment grow every day but the concept of transport remains the same. This is the movement and unification! This is the opening of new horizons and opportunities! This is the intent to prosperity and progress! All these ideas have been laid into the foundation of transport policy of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov.
Caravan of racing vehicles painted with the flags and emblems of Amul – Hazar 2018 rally will be another conductor of this policy, having announced about Turkmenistan to the world as the country willing for wide international cooperation and search for new ways of rapprochement, communication and solution of common universal objectives.
Undoubtedly, the sport is a core of the versatility of this project uniting various dimensions and concepts. Will to win and healthy spirit of the competitions, which are the main target of sport development in our country, is one of them.
The idea of International rally, mass field and track cross and cycling race along the Silk Road proposed by Turkmen leader was accepted enthusiastically by all compatriots but the sportsmen were the most enthusiastic and expressed deep gratitude to the Leader of the Nation for his care and attention. At this competition, our country was represented by 15 teams from the Motor Sports Centre of the Ministry of Interior and National Motor Sports Federation, which were selected during qualification round in May this year. The President of Turkmenistan took part in that races himself, having demonstrated an outstanding result.
The Head of the State pays utmost attention to the creation of necessary conditions in the country for big international competitions, giving them the role of events that unite the nations and cultures and able to support the consolidation of peace and friendship in the region and on the planet.
Large-scale work for formation of relative modern infrastructure is expanded in the country and at the same time, targeted measures for assertion of the principles of healthy and active life style, involvement of Turkmenistan citizens, especially the youth, to regular sports and physical training exercises are taken. In this context, the rally with the participation of the teams from many countries will not only support the enhancement of sport prestige of our country but also will popularize various sports including the motor sport.
Matters of further coordination of activities for provision of high level of organization of the competitions have been discussed at the session with the participation of the heads of the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs, other structures and student voluntaries at S. Seydi Turkmen State Pedagogic Institute. Operational plans has been clarified in working order, duties and areas of responsibility of all assisting groups have been discussed.
Undoubtedly, Amul – Hazar 2018 race will be remembered for long time to numerous guests and will be another contribution of the country to the assertion of the roe of sports as a messenger of peace and friendship.
The participants of the race will be able to see natural beauties of Turkmenistan, its unique landscapes with their own eyes, to touch ethnographic originality of national culture and feel the breath of new dynamic time.
Four main camping sites are located along the route – camp ‘Mary’ in Mary Velayat, ‘Garagum ýalkymy’ in Ahal Velayat, ‘Altyn Asyr türkmen köli’ in Dashoguz Velayat and ‘Sport meýdançasy’ in Balkan Velayat. The finish is planned in Avaza National tourist zone. The length of entire route is 1,571 kilometres. Ambulance and fire service teams are on duty in technical service centres located along entire route. Landing pads for small aircrafts were built next to all camping sites.
Helicopters follow the crews on all parts of the distance. They not only broadcast the race but also monitor the situation in order to provide emergency response. Safety of people and environment is dominating principle of organization and conduct of Amul - Hazar rally. The fact that many famous teams and racers wanted to participate in this debut project gives reason to think that Turkmen rally will enter the calendar of prestigious motor sport events in the future.
Indeed, there are such world status series as Dakar – the most complicated high-rank competitions gathering the best pilots of the planet (it is not held in Africa any more). It was replaced with Africa Eco Race, which route runs across Morocco, Mauritania and Senegal. There is also the Silk Road rally raid, which was first held in 2009 by the initiative of Turkmen leader Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and today these competitions became some kind of European Championship. Amul – Hazar is able to take the place among these tournaments taking into account ecological approach, which has been successfully implemented by Jean Louis Schlesser in Africa Eco Race. Current race across the desert is qualification tour of African eco raid.
The participants of the raid had to drive along the first special section, which required not only the speed of the pilots but also the attention of the navigators. The result on the Karakum track mainly depended on their concentration.
The race running across unknown, sometime difficult terrain is a big challenge. But this is the way the abilities and character of the crews, their coordination as well as the durability of the vehicles are tested. Rally raid is the risk and adventure, which put the friendship, honour and team spirit above all. The winners considered to be everyone who reached the final and not only those who came first.
… The moment came and the vehicles started to come one after another to the finish line. The crew of the vehicle under No. 100 was the first!
Soon, the racers are expected at the camping site built next to administrative border of Lebap and Mary velayats, 250 km away from Mary. At the camping site, the participants of the rally were met with music and dances, they receive memorable gifts. They have also been accommodated and had tasty dinner.
In the meantime, mechanics started to inspect the vehicles. Their objective was to check and repair the vehicle shall it be necessary. Technical maintenance and service vehicles, organizers, journalists and support personnel have arrived there before the crews by normal roads.
The horsemen on Ahalteke horses lined up along the perimeter of the camp as if protecting huge herd of iron horses. The colours of oriental bazaar were added to the atmosphere of the camp by the tents with national decorative and applied art items. Exposition of bright ornamented carpets and original felt goods, hand-made embroideries, original souvenirs with ethnic motifs was continued by the exhibition of modern Turkmen textile.
In addition to gracious ahalteke horses, the foreign guests were conquered by alabay puppies, which they made friends with right away, having recognized cute image of Vepaly in them, which decorates the vehicles and numerous banners.
Other racing round will take place on the next day, September 12. The pilots will enter another leg of the race, having entered 228 kilometres part of the route. Next camping site will expect them in the centre of Turkmen desert in the place with poetic name “The Shine of the Karakums”
On the same day, after completion of the events, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov left for Ashgabat.
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