ITS- After more than five decades, the Asian Games will finally return to Indonesia Next year, the 18th Asian Games will be co-hosted by Jakarta and Palembang, from Aug 18 to Sept 2. The first and last time Indonesia hosted the Asian Games was in 1962.

The largest regional sports event in Asia will be a chance to showcase the country`s sporting and economic success. Despite the huge cost, the Asian Games is very important, as it will also have a positive impact on investment in future. Hence, its implementation encourages greater synergy and cooperation.

Of course, it is not easy to host such a big sporting event on two islands – Java and Sumatra – and in such a short time. Normally, an Asian Games host will get six years to prepare. However, Indonesia was appointed by the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) as the Asian Games host in 2014, giving it only four years to prepare for the Games. Indonesia has to race for the preparation

After the the appointment, Indonesian government established an official organizing commitee, called INASGOC that will plan, prepare and organize the Asian Games 2018. Looking at the progress INASGOC has acchieved so far, we are optimistic and confident that all the venues and facilities will ready on time and the we will successfully host the Asian Games next year.

The building or renovating / upgrading several sports facilities in three provinces – Jakarta, South Sumatra and West Java has been undertaken since 2014. There will be 80 venues for competitions and training in these three provinces.

Wisma Atlet Kemayoran in Jakarta and Jakabaring Sports City in Palembang, South Sumatra is mostly completed and by the end of month will be ready to host 10,000 athletes from 45 National Olympic Comitte.

The most important venue of the Asian Games is the 55-year-old Gelora Bung Karno (GBK) Stadium – which will host soccer, basketball, tennis, volleyball, and archery — in Jakarta. It has a new look, with upgrades to the stadium expected to be finished by end of the month.

In fact, works at many venues in the GBK sports complex, such as the aquatics stadium, soccer fields, hockey field and archery ground are already complete. Many other venues, including the main stadium (almost 90 percent complete), will be ready by end of the month. The new International Velodrome in Rawamangun will be built by June 2018 as per schedule.

More than 95 percent of works at the Indoor Tennis Stadium and Istora Indoor Stadium in GBK are complete, while more than 60 percent of works at the baseball and softball fields in GBK complex are also complete.

Meanwhile, works at the Pulo Mas equestrian center have reached 50 percent completion.
Likewise in Palembang, almost all venues and facilities will be ready by the end of the month, while some are on schedule to be completed next year prior to the start of the Games.

Jakarta and Palembang are undergoing major renovation works and beautification programs, including road and sidewalk widening, with the addition of street lights.

For this great progress, The OCA President Sheikh Ahmad praised Indonesia and said the local organising committee, INASGOC, had done a fine job in preparing the venues and other infrastructure.

Gatot Dewa S Broto