Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Vice President Jusuf Kalla attended the countdown launch event for the 18th Asian Games 2018 at the National Monument (Monas) arena, here, Friday evening.
Next years Asian Games will be held in the Indonesian capital city of Jakarta and Palembang in South Sumatra in August 2018.
The countdown launch event in Palembang took place at Benteng Kuto Besak on the banks of the Musi River.
The launch events were open to the public and were free of charge.
President Jokowi and Vice President Jusuf, who wore red jackets, arrived at the location of the launch event around 7p.m. local time.
On the occasion, President Jokowi shot an arrow at an LED light target to mark the launch of the countdown for the 18th Asian Games 2018.
First Lady Iriana Joko Widodo, former president Megawati Soekarnoputri, and Committee chairman of Asian Games 2018 (INASGOC) Erick Thohir also attended the event, which also had several dancers and singers to entertain the audience.
Various delegations from the Asian nations were also present at the countdown launch event in Monas, Jakarta.
Various artists, especially from Asia, including South Korea (host of 2014 Asian Games), and Indonesia, enlivened the event themed Energy of Asia through a performance of colossal dance Ruwat Bumi by Eko Supriyanto, which showcased Indonesias confidence to host the Asian Games 2018, while demonstrating the nations identity to the world.
According to Erick, the Asian Games countdown event was exactly a year to the opening ceremony of the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, Palembang.
It has become an important moment to spur the organizing committee of the Asian Games (Inasgoc), Erick noted.
Erick earlier stated that although it was unofficial, the countdown event was an important part of the Asian sports event.
"The countdown is an important aspect of the Asian Games, as it will be a campaign event for the people. This is especially significant, as after the SEA Games 2017, Indonesia will host the Asian Games, and it will be held soon," Erick stated during a press conference at the INASGOC office, Senayan, Jakarta, Tuesday.
Today, as part of the efforts, we will increase awareness among the people that Indonesia will be hosting the Asian Games in 2018, he stressed.
"This is our homework to work even harder," he pointed out.
Events in 39 sports will be organised at the Asian Games 2018, in which 24 events will be in Jakarta, five in West Java, and 10 in Palembang.
This will be the second time that Indonesia will be hosting the Asian Games.
Source: Antara News