Thursday, September 13, 2018


   Jakarta, Sept 13, 2018 (Antara) - Having a chance to host the Asian Games for the second time after waiting for over 50 years, Indonesia did not want to miss the opportunities to show the world that the nation is capable of successfully organizing the largest sporting event in Asia and upgrading its rank in the Asiad's medal table.
            Many international media as well as several world leaders lauded the smooth and well-organized implementation of the 18th Asian Games held simultaneously in two cities, namely in Jakarta on western Java Island and Palembang in South Sumatra, from Aug 18 to Sept 2, 2018.
         Headlines of major media on the Games read "Asian Games Stir Indonesia's Pride, Boost Jokowi's Campaign", "Indonesia proved their credibility with a successful show at Asian Games", "Games-Hosts Indonesia bid emotional farewell to 18th Asiad," and "Asian Games close: Indonesia shows it's the 'Energy of Asia'".
        Besides, Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi), during his state visit to South Korea on Sept 10,  received congratulations for successfully organizing the 2018 Asian Games.
        Ahmad Al Sabah Al Fahad, president of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), in his remarks during the closing ceremony of the Asian Games in Jakarta on Sept 2, 2018, lauded the Indonesian Government for successful organization of the Games and, in particular, the country's security authorities for maintaining safety during the Games.
       "I especially convey my appreciation to the security and traffic police who have worked hard (to overcome traffic jams) enabling athletes to come to the venue on time," Al Fahad stated.

          He also termed the Indonesian National Defense Forces (TNI) and the National Police (Polri) personnel as heroes who were assigned to handle the traffic flows so that the implementation of the Asian biggest sporting events could last without significant disturbances.
       Buoyed up by the success of hosting the Asian Games, Indonesia, which had the first opportunity to host the Asian Games in 1962, will bid for the 2032 Olympics.
        President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach, who was present at the closing ceremony, remarked that Indonesia's Asiad success would serve as a strong foundation for their Olympic bid.
       "With the great success of the Asian Games, Indonesia has demonstrated that it has all the ingredients to organize Olympic Games in a very successful way," Bach told the press,
    Indonesia stepped in to host the Asian Games after original host Vietnam pulled out in 2013, citing cost concerns.
       Indonesia success in holding the Asian Games 2018 was also highlighted through its position in the medal tally. The country nearly achieved double its target, namely 16 gold medals, and gained the top 10 position in the medal tally.
        The host country finished fourth following China, Japan, and South Korea in the medals tally with 31 golds, 24 silvers, and 43 bronzes, a significant improvement from the 17th position in the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, with four gold medals. 
  Indonesia maxed out its privilege as hosting nation by including pencak silat, its traditional martial art, in which it felt it had a chance of winning gold. In its debut in the Asiad, Pencak silat bagged 14 gold medals out of the total 16 golds for grabs. 
   During the finals of the pencak silat on Aug 29, 2018, both Jokowi and his rival, president hopeful Prabowo Subianto, were present. Subianto is the chairman of both national and international pencak silat associations.
         In fact, Vice President Jusuf Kalla believed that Indonesia achieved three successes, namely in terms of facilities and infrastructure, implementation, and achievements in the Asian Games.
       "I congratulate all of us who have succeeded in realizing this 18th Asian Games to achieve three successes in terms of facilities and infrastructure, implementation and achievements," Kalla remarked at the closing ceremony.
         In term of facilities and infrastructure, the government of Indonesia has succeeded in boosting the development of the competition arena as well as the light rail transit routes in Jakarta, Palembang, and West Java.
         Meanwhile, in terms of sporting achievement, Kalla explained "This is Indonesia's highest achievement in the history of its participation in the Asian Games."
    Following its success in organizing the 18th Asian Games, Indonesia is now gearing up for several more major international events such as the International Monetary Fund and World Bank (IMF-WB) Annual Meetings which will be organized on Bali Island, on Oct 8-14, and the fifth Our Ocean Conference also in Bali. scheduled for Oct 29-30 this year.   ***4***

(T.F001/A/BESSR/F. Assegaf) 13-09-2018

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