Asian Games, a multi-sport event for all Asian countries, is set to take place in the Indonesian cities of Jakarta and Palembang from August 18 to September 2, 2018. This is the 18th edition of the tournament, which first began in 1951 in New Delhi, and it is set to host around 10,000 athletes in 40 sports from 45 countries.
While Indonesia will host the Asian Games for the second time, after the Jakarta Asian Games in 1962, it is the first time that the games are being hosted by two cities together. Organisers are hoping the 2018 edition can surpass the success of the 1962 Games.
The opening and closing ceremonies of the 18th Asian Games will be held at the Gelora Bung Karno Main Stadium in Jakarta.
A bird-of-paradise character named Derawan was initially chosen as the mascot of the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang at an unveiling ceremony in Indonesia’s capital. Derawan wore the uniform used in Indonesian martial art pencak silat in order to represent the country’s heritage in the sport.
However, in January 2016, organisers withdrew the design, which was massively criticised. Later, three new mascots were introduced which are Bhin Bhin—a greater bird-of-paradise, Atung—a Bawean deer, and Kaka—a Javan rhinoceros, representing the Eastern, Central and Western regions of Indonesia.
The logo for the 2018 Asian Games was initially chosen to be the same bird as the original mascot of the games. The new 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 Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) in March last year confirmed 42 sports and 484 events for this year’s Asian Games. However, the number was cut down to 39 as cricket, sambo and surfing were removed from the list after an executive board meeting.
New Olympic events like 3*3 basketball and BMX freestyle have also been included in this year’s Asian 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.
Cricket had featured in the last two editions of the Asian Games whereas surfing and sambo were targeting a first-time appearance. But, all the three disciplines have been discarded to reduce the burden on the organisers.
The Indonesian Asian Games Organizing 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.
The venue clusters for the 2018 Asian Games are located in and around Central Jakarta’s Gelora Bung Karno Sports Complex, Jakarta’s suburbs and in Palembang, which has organised several major multi-sports events, including the 2011 Southeast Asian Games for 4,000 athletes from 11 National Olympic Committees.
The Athletes’ Village will be in North Jakarta and the Media Village in South Jakarta.