2018 ASIAN GAMES: JAKARTA – 2018 Asiad closes in sparkling fashion

Fireworks illuminate the sky above the Gelora Bung Karno Main Stadium during the closing ceremony of the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta on Sept 2, 2018. — Bernama

JAKARTA: The 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games finally drew to a close in glittering style with a spectacular fireworks display at the Gelora Bung Karno Main Stadium, here tonight.

The ceremony started with a parade from the competing countries, with the Malaysian contingent led by chief-de-mission Datuk Seri Abdul Azim Mohd Zabidi, comprising of 113 athletes and officials, proudly marching into the arena as the 38th country.

It continued with a live video speech from Indonesian President Joko Widodo, who was in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara visiting earthquake victims, followed by a speech of gratitude from Vice-President Jusuf Kalla.

Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) president Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, then took the centre stage to deliver his appreciation speech to the Indonesian government for successfully hosting the 18th Asiad before he officially announced the closing of the Games. The OCA flag was then lowered from the pole.

Indonesia handed over Asian Games hosting duties to China, which was marked by the passing of the first Asian Games torch and flag by the Governer of Jakarta, Anies Baswedan to Hangzhou mayor, Xu Liyi, as well as the President of the Chinese Olympic Committee, Gou Zhongwen.

The city of Hangzhou, China will host the 2022 edition of the event. It will be China’s third time hosting, having played the role in 1990 and 2010, which took place in Beijing and Guangzhou, respectively.

Tonight’s proceedings were enlivened by cultural showcases and stunning performances from renowned Indonesian singers like Bams, Lea Angeline Simanjuntak, Siti Badriah, Bunga Citra Lestari and the famous band, Gigi.

This was followed by performances by popular K-Pop bands iKon and Super Junior which enthralled the 60,000-odd crowd.

The extinguishing of the 2018 Asiad flame provided a poignant moment for the over 11,000 athletes and officials involved in the 462 events across 40 sports featured in the quadrennial games in Jakarta and Palembang, which carried the theme ‘Energy of Asia’.

It was the second time Indonesia hosted the Asian Games after the 1962 edition, which took place in Jakarta.

The Malaysian contingent won seven gold medal, 13 silver and 16 bronze medals to finish in 14th place out of 37 countries, thus improving on the 2014 Incheon Asian Games medal haul which was 5-14-14. — Bernama

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