Yakutsk, Russian Federation: With the official support of the Olympic Council of Asia, the 5th Children of Asia International Sports Games (Yakutsk 2012) will open on July 5 and run through to July 15. The Games will be held under the auspices of the International Olympic Committee in the cities of Yakutsk, Mirny and Neryungri of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia).
The Games are being held in compliance with the decision of the President of the Russian Federation to promote the Olympic ideals and to strengthen international cooperation in sport. The 1st Children of Asia Games were held in Yakutsk in 1996 and were dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the modern Olympic Games.
The previous four Games hosted more than 5,000 young athletes from more than 20 countries of Asia and 27 regions of Russia, and participants of these Games would go on to become champions at world and Olympic levels. The programme of the 5th Games will include 20 sports. For the first time Swimming and Sambo have been included, as well as Freestyle Wrestling among handicapped athletes.
Yakutia is known for its mineral resources, rich nature and unique culture. Its territory is equal to that of five Frances or 13 Great Britains. On the future of the event, Vice President Dmitry Glushko said: "The Games have actually grown beyond being a project only of Sakha. I fully support the idea of the Head of the Republic (Egor Borisov) to give the right to hold the Games to other Asian countries."
Applications for the team draws in basketball, volleyball and football were received from teams of China, India, Nepal, Mongolia, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Oman, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and the Far East, Ural, Siberian Federal District (Russia) and the team of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia).