DUSHANBE, November 28, Asia-Plus  - Today, a first group of Tajik sportsmen numbering 68 people is leaving for Doha, Qatar, to participate in the 15 th Asian Games that will be held from December 1 to December 15, Tajikistan’s National Olympic Committee (NOC) said.  

Farid Solehov, a spokesman for the NOC, said that another group will leave for Doha on December 5.  In total, a Tajik delegation to attend the games will consist of 128 people, including 100 athletes, 15 coaches, 10 representatives from sports federations and three journalists.  The NOC president Bahrullo Rajabaliyev leads the delegation.  

According to the source, Tajik sportsmen will compete in 14 sports: taekwon-do; karate-do; athletics; boxing; table tennis; free-style wrestling; judo; soccer, weightlifting, etc.  Solehov noted that Tajik karate-do team, which is currently being trained for the games in Iran, will join the delegation in Doha.  

Tajikistan’s NOC places hopes on Dilshod Nazarov (athletics), Sergey Babikov (shooting), Sherali Dostiyev (boxing) and a number of wrestlers, who won competitions in the 5th Central Asian Games. 

Nearly 12,000 athletes from 45 countries across the Asian continent will converge on Doha, to compete for fame and glory.  Athletes will compete in the following sports: archery, athletics, badminton, baseball, basketball, body building, bowling, boxing, canoe-kayak, chess, cue sports, cycling, equestrian, fencing, soccer, golf, gymnastics, handball, hockey, judo, kabaddi, karate-do, rowing, rugby, sailing, shooting, soft tennis, squash, table tennis, taekwon-do, tennis, triathlon, volleyball, weightlifting, wrestling and wushu.    

The Asian Games, also called the Asiad, is a multi-sport event  held every four years among atletes from all over Asia.  The Games are regulated by the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) under the supervision of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).  Medals are awarded in each event, with gold for first place, silver for secodn and bronze for third, a tradition which started in 1950.  

The Olympic Council of Asia was approved for formation in New Delhi, India during the Asian Games Federation (AGF) Council Meeting held on November 26, 1981, which was attended by duly accredited representatives of the affiliated Asian National Olympic Committees. One year later it was officially founded on December 5, 1982 in New Delhi during the IX Asian Games, which were held there as the last games under the "AGF" umbrella