Asian Games, a multi-sport event for all Asian countries, is set to take place in the Indonesian cities of Jakarta and Palembang from tomorrow and continue till 2nd of next month.
This is the 18th edition of the tournament, which first began in 1951 in New Delhi. Indonesia will host the Asian Games for the second time, after the Jakarta Asian Games in 1962.
Close to 11 thousand athletes from 45 countries will be seen competing in 40 sports and 67 disciplines consisting of 28 Olympic sports, 4 new Olympic sports, and 8 non-Olympic sports.
Another first at these Games, e-sports will be making their debut, featured as a non-medal category demonstration sport. This is the first time that the Games are being jointly hosted by two cities.
The opening and closing ceremonies of the 18th Asian Games will be held at the Gelora Bung Karno Main Stadium in Jakarta. The Opening ceremony will start at 5:30pm IST tomorrow.
Expected to be watched by billions across the world, the ceremony is expected to feature popular Indonesian singers Anggun, Raisa, Tulus, Edo Kondologit, Putri Ayu, Fatin, GAC, Kamasean and Via Vallen. The traditional ‘Parade of Athletes’ will get underway from 6.15 p.m. IST with young javelin-thrower Neeraj Chopra carrying India’s flag and leading the contingent.
The Sports Ministry has cleared a 804-member Indian contingent comprising 572 athletes, 183 officials, 119 coaches, 21 doctors and physiotherapists for the Asian Games. Of the 572 athletes, 312 are men and 260 women.
There was quite literally a Gold rush at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in Australia where India notched up their second best medal tally of all times. Hence the current edition of Asian Games will be a reality check for India’s athletes after the Commonwealth Games high.