The Asian Games flame has arrived in the city of Shymkent to become the third city to host the torch relay on its route to Astana. The day before, bad weather almost made the event organisers carry the flame by car. However, as soon as the mist disappeared, the plane with the Asian Games symbol on board successfully landed in Shymkent. The deputy head of the torch relay directorate, Sarsen Kuranbek says that the flame is to be traveling on its route without any delays as organisers considered all possible situations. The flame is under the reliable protection as 14 flame keepers were singled out of 100 candidates.
Sarsen Kuranbek, deputy head, Asian Games Torch Relay Directorate “These keepers passed a body-guard training course with the additional programme. They will do everything to keep the Olympic flame burning.”
The urn with the Asian Games flame was kept in the Halyk Bank depositary overnight to light the torch for the Shymkent relay the next day. The South Kazakhstan regional governor Askar Myrzakhmetov was the first torch bearer in the city. Sixty top people of the south Kazakhstan land carried the torch through the city of Shymkent.
Leonid Prikazchikov, two-times world sambo champion “I am overwhelmed with emotions. I am happy to take part in the torch relay of the Seventh Asian Winter games, which is a great event for the South Kazakhstan region.”
Besolt Detsiyev, four-times world Greco-roman wrestling cup holder “This is a holiday for us. We will be supporting our athletes from Kazakhstan at the games. May God help them. God give them luck.”
City residents also consider the torch relay as a holiday. Every one of them is proud of their country and they place their best hopes on the Asian Games.
Alexander Cherepanov, Shymkent resident
“This relay is to boost the development of sport, health improvement and reinforcement of our nation.”
The torch bearers were accompanied by a horse procession. It was 77-year old sports veteran Makhambet Saparbayev who delivered the flame of the Asian Games to its final destination in the city, the Ordabasy Square. He once again proved that going in for sports is a guarantee of a healthy, long and active life.