The 18th edition of Asian Games was inaugurated in Jakarta, Indonesia. This will be second time that Indonesia will be hosting Asian Games. For first, it was held in Jakarta in 1962. Javelin Thrower Neeraj Chopra was India’s flag-bearer at the glittering opening ceremony.
This edition of pan-continental mega sporting event will be held from August 18 to September 2, 2018 in two cities – Jakarta (capital of Indonesia) and Palembang (capital of Indonesia’s province of South Sumatra) to accommodate all branches of sports. This will be the first time that the Asian Games will be held in two cities.
It will see participation of around 11,000 athletes from 45 countries will compete in 40 sports, 67 disciplines, 4 new Olympic sports and 8 non-Olympic sports. For the first time, eSports (form of competition using video games) and canoe polo will be contested as demonstration sports in Asian Games. Indian contingent comprised of around 570 Indian athletes who will compete for top honours across 36 sports.
Mascots: Trio of Bhin Bhin (bird of paradise), Kaka (one horned rhino) and Atung (deer) are mascots of 2018 Asian Games. These three represent east, west and centre of country and they have dress traditional to each locality.
Note: This edition of Asian Games was originally scheduled to be hosted by Vietnam in Hanoi, but it had withdrawn its bid citing reason of economic considerations. Following Vietnam’s withdrawal, Indonesia proposed to host 18th Asian Games.
It is pan-continental multi-sporting event held every four years between athletes from all over Asia. It is also known as Asiad. It is second largest multi-sport event after Olympic Games. It is organised by Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) since 1982, prior to that, it was regulated by Asian Games Federation (AGF). The first Asian Games were held in New Delhi, India in 1951. Since then overall, nine nations have hosted it and forty-six nations have participated in it, including Israel (now excluded from it after its last participation in 1974). The 17th edition of games was hosted by Incheon, South Korea from in 2014. The next games (19th edition) are scheduled to Hangzhou, China between 10 and 25 September 2022. India had hosted Asian Games two times in 1951 (inaugural) and 1982, both in New Delhi.