Australia’s first ever Ashgabat competitiors


A team of eighteen athletes across three sports have been carefully chosen to become Australia’s first ever participants at the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games (AIMAG) in Ashgabat this September.


Athletes in weightlifting, wresting and Taekwondo will go head-to-head with 45 participating nations in the Turkmenistan capital.

President of Wrestling Australia, John Saul, told the Australian Olympic Committee the AIMAG opportunity for Australia’s young team will be an invaluable experience.

“Asia is really one of the hubs for martial arts and strength sports,” Saul said.

“With some of the world’s leading countries like Iran and Japan being there as well as the host country, Turkmenistan, its going to be a fabulous tournament, a real learning experience for our people.”

With Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games less than a year away, the opportunity for the athletes to compete in a Games environment will have add a great advantage..

“This young Australia team will not only benefit from the international exposure and Games-like experience in Ashgabat, but the opportunity to mix with Asia’s best in weightlifting, wrestling and taekwondo will motivate them to pursue their short and long term sporting goals.” he said.

Included in the six wrestlers is Commonwealth Games Australia Ambassador, Connor Evans who will join the team following the 2017 World Championships in Paris and the United World Wrestling worlds training camp in Finland

“This is a very prestigious tournament and it is the first time Australia has been invited,” Evans said.

“Once I arrive back in Australia I will have the final qualification trial for the spot on the commonwealth games team competing against the second and third placed wrestlers from the nationals.

“… big things to come.”

The 2017 Ashgabat Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games will be held 17-27th September 2017.


Australia’s Ashgabat 2017 Team:

Will Afonczenko M-63kg
Ruth Hock F-67kg
Deanna Kyriazopoulos F-46kg
Adam Meyers M+87kg
Cameron Taylor M-80kg
Keshena Waterford F-49kg


Ridge Barredo M105kg
Jocelyne Francken F69kg
Matthew Lydement M105kg
Jacob Marquardt M94kg
Sofia Zudova F75kg
Brandon Wakeling M69kg


Ariadne Burkhart F58kg
Connor Evans M74kg
Carissa-Jane Holland F53kg
Rupinder Kaur F48kg
Liam Neyland M65kg
Petrus Palm M57kg





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