Chennai: Come tomorrow, over 10,000 athletes from 45 countries will vie for honours at the 18th Asian Games, a multi-sport event for all Asian countries, that begins at the Indonesian cities of Jakarta and Palembang.
The two-week long sporting extravaganza will witness a total of 572 athletes from India taking part in 36 sports. This is the 18th edition of the tournament, which first began in 1951 in New Delhi and Indonesia hosts the Asian Games for the second time, after the Jakarta Asian Games in 1962.
A colourful opening ceremony will be held at the Gelora Bung Karno Main Stadium in Jakarta tomorrow. The athletes’ village will be in North Jakarta.
In & Out
The premier sporting event in Asia will have 39 sports and 484 events. Cricket, sambo and surfing are out of the list. Cricket was featured in the last two editions of the Asian Games whereas surfing and sambo were targeting a first-time appearance. New Olympic events like 3X3 basketball and BMX freestyle have also been included in this year’s games, which will be hosting the most number of events. Also, eSports has been included as a medal event for the first time in the Games.
100,000 guards on duty
Indonesia is deploying 100,000 police and soldiers to provide security for the 2018 Asian Games, the biggest event ever held in its terror attack-prone capital Jakarta, parts of which have been dramatically spruced up as the city readies to welcome tens of thousands of athletes and visitors.
The ceremony will take place at 5.30 pm (IST) at GBK Main Stadium in Jakarta. It will involve 5000 performers with a mythological theme, flying people and indispensably in a country of dozens of active volcanoes, a mountain that erupts, albeit a very small eruption.
Popular Indonesian singers Anggun, Raisa, Tulus, Edo Kondologit, Putri Ayu, Fatin, GAC, Kamasean and Via Vallen would perform. Dances are choreographed by Denny Malik and Eko Supriyanto.
After the opening ceremony, the events will kick-off from 19 August. And on the first day of the Games, Olympic medallists PV Sindhu, Sushil Kumar among others will be in action. The Indian women’s hockey team will be starting their campaign with their first Pool B match against Indonesia.
Among the shooters, two big Indian names – Apurvi Chandela and Manu Bhaker – will be in action with their mixed team partners.
CWG gold medallist Bhaker will be teaming up with Abhishek Verma in the 10m Air Pistol Mixed Team event, while Chandela along with Ravi Kumar will be competing in the 10m Air Rifle Mixed Team event. Two-time Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar will be competing in the 74 kg category.
Logo & Song
The logo themed Energy of Asia, depicts an aerial view of Gelora Bung Karno Stadium, which was built for when Jakarta hosted the 1962 Asian Games.
The Indonesian Asian Games Organising Committee (INASGOC) released an official music album of the 2018 Asian Games titled Asian Games 2018: Energy of Asia. The album consists of 13 songs involves several cross-genre musical artists.