The 18th Asian Games which lasted for two weeks in Jakarta and Palembang ended on Sunday (2/9). The multi-sport event was closed with a ceremony with performances that showcased the diversity of Indonesia and the intimacy among the 11,000 athletes who competed representing 45 countries.
Indonesia, which four years ago agreed to hold the Asian Games after Vietnam withdrew for financial reasons, is now enjoying the success of the event.
President Joko Widodo, who is running for president again next year, has announced plans to host the 2032 Olympics.
China, Japan and South Korea dominate the medal tally. Indonesia scored the best achievement in the Asian Games by ranking fourth.
China took home 289 medals, including 132 gold. Japan followed with 205 medals, including 75 gold. South Korea won 177 medals, including 49 gold. And Indonesian athletes won 98 medals, including 31 gold.
The star of this year’s Asian Games is Japanese swimmer Rikako Ikee, who won eight medals, including six gold. He will be one of the athletes in the spotlight as Japan prepares to host the 2020 Olympics.
One of Indonesia’s richest people, billionaire Michael Bambang Hartono, became the oldest medal winner at the age of 78, for the sport of bridge.
Michael is 66 years older than skateboarder Bunga Nyimas, who is 12 years old, a bronze medalist. Nyimas is the youngest athlete to win a medal.
The upcoming Asian Games will be held in Hangzhou, China, in 2022. [vm/ii]