The Indian delegation marches into the National Stadium at the inaugural Asian Games in 1951. © Ministry of Youth and Sports, IndiaCouncil News
Date : 11 Jul 2018
Kuwait, July 11, 2018: “It’s coming home” – the Asian Games is coming home to New Delhi this weekend. On Sunday, July 15, the flame for the 18th Asian Games will be lit in the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium in New Delhi – the birthplace of the Olympic Council of Asia’s premier sports event in 1951.
The ceremonial lighting of the Asian Games Torch will be followed by the start of the Torch Relay, including a photo shoot by the iconic India Gate.
The torch handover process will involve the OCA President, HE Sheikh Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah, the President of the Indian Olympic Association, Dr. Narinder Batra, Indian Sports Minister Col. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Indonesia Olympic Committee President Erick Thohir and Indonesia’s Sports Minister, Imam Nahrawi.
The flame will later travel back to Indonesia for the start of the 18,000km domestic torch relay through 50 cities in 18 provinces before arriving at the Gelora Bung Karno Main Stadium in Jakarta for the opening ceremony of the 18th Asian Games on Saturday, August 18.
The OCA President said: “We regard New Delhi as the home of the Asian Games because this is where the success story began in 1951. “New Delhi will always hold a special place in our hearts as the birthplace of the Asian Games and we are proud to return and continue this legacy.”
The inaugural Asian Games involved 489 athletes from 11 National Olympic Committees in six sports and 57 events. This year’s Asian Games, which will run from August 18 to September 2 in co-host cities Jakarta and Palembang, will bring together over 10,500 athletes from 45 National Olympic Committees in 40 sports and 465 events.
“The Asian Games has become the second largest international multi-sport event in the world after the Olympic Games and is respected and admired by the other four continental associations and the global Olympic Movement,” added Sheikh Ahmad.
“Our future is bright with host cities already confirmed for 2022 and 2026, but we will never forget the strong roots that were planted in New Delhi and have grown around the continent.”
Hangzhou, China, will host the 19th Asian Games in 2022 and Nagoya/Aichi prefecture in Japan will stage the 20th Asian Games in 2026.
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