Photo of the Week: A Turkmen for All Seasons
On a lighter note, Turkmenistan has crowned a new Master of Sports. As it happens, the honoree is the former Soviet republic’s President, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov. Apparently, the 60-year-old Turkmen leader was visiting a race course in the country’s Karakum Desert when he realized that his BMW fit the necessary requirements to compete. He entered the race, “easily and quickly overcame all obstacles” and “showed a real art of drifting,” before beating his next closest competitor by 12 seconds, according to state media reports picked up by BBC Monitoring.
Mr. Berdimuhamedov, who won a third term in 2017 with 98 percent of the vote, is no stranger to accolades. Six years before he pocketed his new Master of Sports certificate and racing trophy, he won the first automobile race ever staged in Turkmenistan in similar circumstances. He’s also a noted author, songwriter, equestrian, and weapons expert. Hey, if you’re going to try to top your predecessor’s personality cult, you might as well have fun doing it.