18th edition of Asian Games to begin in Jakarta, Indonesia
The 18th edition of Asian Games is scheduled to be held in Jakarta, Indonesia from August 18 to September 2, 2018. The opening ceremony will begin at 5:30 pm Indian time, with most of the events scheduled to commence from August 19.
The games will take place simultaneously in Jakarta, capital of Indonesia and Palembang, capital of the province of South Sumatra, so as to accommodate all branches of sports.
• The event is expected to witness participation from around 11,000 athletes from 45 countries in 40 sports and 67 disciplines consisting of 28 Olympic sports, 4 new Olympic sports and 8 non-Olympic sports.
• Some of the events, including Handball and Football, began last week.
• For the first time, eSports, a form of competition using video games, and canoe polo will be contested as demonstration sports.
• The Indian contingent at the games will be led by Javelin Thrower Neeraj Chopra, who will be India's flag-bearer at the glittering opening ceremony.
• Around 570 Indian athletes are expected to compete for top honours across 36 sports, which will take place in Jakarta as well as in Palembang.
• Renowned Indonesian singers like Anggun, Raisa and Tulus and a total of 4,000 dancers are expected to perform at the ceremony.
About Asian Games
• The Asian Games, also known as Asiad, is a continental multi-sport event held every four years between athletes from all over Asia.
• Since 1982, the Games have been organised by the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA).Prior to that, the Games were regulated by the Asian Games Federation (AGF).
• The AGF regulated the very first Asian Games, which were held in New Delhi, India in 1951 until the 1978 Games, till the federation’s breakup.
• The Games are the second largest multi-sport event after the Olympic Games.
• Overall, nine nations have hosted the Asian Games and forty-six nations have participated in it, including Israel, which was excluded from the Games after their last participation in 1974.
• The last edition of the Games was hosted by Incheon, South Korea from 19 September to 4 October 2014. The current edition was originally scheduled to be hosted by Vietnam in Hanoi, however, the country withdrew its bid, based on economic considerations.
• Following Vietnam’s withdrawal, Indonesia offered to hold the 18th Asian Games. This will be the second time that Indonesia hosts the Asian Games. The first one was held in Jakarta in 1962.
• This will be the first time that the Asian Games will be held in two cities - Jakarta and Palembang.
• The logo for the 18th Asian Games is a colorful circle taken from the shape of the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium and named the Energy of Asia, depicting the strengthening spirit of the Games, participated by multicultural nations shining for all the world to see.