Indonesia holds massive event to welcome Asiad

Jakarta: The Indonesian capital of Jakarta held a mass event on Sunday to welcome the upcoming Asian Games with the participation of 65,000 people including the president, ministers and senior officials in the government.

The event was part of nationwide observances to commemorate the 73rd national Independence Day and to welcome the 18th Asian Games slated to commence in the next two weeks in the nation’s two host cities of Jakarta and Palembang, reports Xinhua news agency.

“Indonesia has put a historical event on the books,” Indonesia Youths and Sports Minister Imam Nahrawi said, referring to the mass exercise based on a traditional dance from eastern Indonesia.

Addressing the record-breaking event, President Joko Widodo wished the Asiad success.

“We want to see great success in the 2018 Asian Games. Our preparations were successful and we expect to see more success ahead both in events and for our athletes,” Widodo said.

Coordinator of the record-breaking exercise Firdaus Ali noted that similar events were held in 48 cities across the nation and nine cities in foreign countries.

Indonesia has received commendation from the head of the OCA (Olympic Council of Asia) Sheikh Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah.

The upcoming Asiad will be the second for Indonesia, which hosted the tournament in 1962. The 18th Asian Games, themed “Energy of Asia,” are scheduled to be held from August 18 to September 2 in the Indonesian cities of Jakarta and Palembang, and will draw over 11,000 athletes from 45 Asian countries and regions.