President Joko Widodo with Indonesian athletes at the Presidential Palace in Jakarta on Wednesday. © AntaraGames News
Date : 09 Aug 2018
Jakarta, Indonesia, August 9, 2018: President Joko Widodo held an official send-off ceremony for Indonesia’s Asian Games athletes at the Presidential Palace in Jakarta on Wednesday, August 8.
The President, better known as “Jokowi”, said it was a pleasure to meet so many of the athletes in person and wish them all the best for the 18th Asian Games, which will run from August 18 to September 2 in Jakarta and Palembang.
“You are the country’s best athletes who will fight on behalf of 263 million Indonesians,” he said. “I am aware that you have worked hard and I am optimistic that the long preparation will earn us many gold medals.
“We have set a Top 10 finish as our main target, meaning that we have to win at least 16 gold medals. Win more medals – and no less,” he added.
The President said he had seen the athletes training for pencak silat, jet ski, skateboarding and rowing and was confident they would achieve their goals and make the nation proud.
“Uphold fair play – and the best of luck to you all,” he said.
Indonesia, which is hosting the Asian Games for the second time following Jakarta in 1962, will field a record 983 athletes. There will be 40 sports and 465 events.
Based on the 17th Asian Games at Incheon, Korea, when Qatar finished 10th with 10 gold medals, Indonesia is banking on a minimum of 10 gold medals to book a Top 10 finish this time but, with 16 or more gold medals, could climb as high as seventh.
Asian Games action starts on Friday afternoon with Hong Kong v Laos in men’s football at the Patriot Candrabaga Stadium in Bekasi, West Java. Indonesia will play Chinese Taipei on Sunday evening at the same stadium.
Article by Marguerite Afra Sapiie, The Jakarta Post
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