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Daily Preview: Friday 22 September

22 September, 2017 (09:32)
Tags: China, Turkmenistan, Hong Kong, Thailand, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Swimming, Belt Wrestling, Billiard Sports, Bowling, Kurash, Taekwondo, Track Cycling, Weightlifting

Short Course Swimming explodes into action on Friday 22 September at the Ashgabat 2017 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games.

The stunning Aquatics Centre venue is the perfect setting for top level competition. At a time when younger athletes are ruling the pool everywhere, one Thai veteran looks to swim against the tide.

Freestyle specialist Natthanan Junkrajang, 31, is a two-time Olympian, and recently won four silver and two bronze medals at the 2017 South East Asian Games (SEA Games) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 

“Ashgabat 2017 is a major event for our team and we put our hearts and souls into preparing for it," she said "After the 2017 SEA Games, I am as ready as ever. I am confident I can swim well. I’ll be looking to have some fun in the pool.”

She will compete in seven events at Ashgabat 2017, with two of them, the women's 50m Freestyle and 4x50m Medley Relay, scheduled for Friday.
Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and China have fielded strong swimmers at Ashgabat 2017, and with 26 athletes, Hong Kong, China will be the largest team at the Aquatics Centre. 

A total 11 sports will be in action on Friday. Medal competition will be taking place in eight of the 11 – Belt Wrestling, Billiard Sports, Bowling, Kurash, Taekwondo, Short Course Swimming, Track Cycling and Weightlifting. Preliminary rounds continue in 3x3 Basketball, Chess and Indoor Tennis. 

The host Turkmen team opens Friday’s competition way ahead in the medal standings, with 59 golds and a total of 148 medals. There is a tussle brewing for the places, with Iran on 16, and Thailand now in third on 13 gold. 

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