ASHGABAT (Turkmenistan) • Indonesia will host a total of 40 sports at next year's Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang after reaching a deal with the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), the head of Indonesia's organising committee said yesterday.
With less than a year to go until the Games open in August, the final programme had been in doubt before an agreement was reached during a meeting on the sidelines of the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games, currently taking place in Turkmenistan's capital city Ashgabat.
Under the agreement, the Games - larger than the Olympics both in terms of the number of sports and competitors - will incorporate 40 sports and 462 gold medal events.
The final number is down from the 42 sports that the OCA announced in March, but one more than the 39 that Indonesia's organising committee (Inasgoc) had proposed.
"Basically, we had already agreed on 39 sports but the policy that we have to follow is what is on the 2020 Olympic Games in Japan so that is why a new one has come up," Inasgoc secretary-general Eris Herryanto said, after Indonesia presented its final plans to the OCA general assembly on Wednesday.
"We are supported by the ministry of public affairs, and they are going to build all the infrastructure," he added.
"Some of it is already finished but most of (it) will be finished by the end of this year, so we are confident we'll have all the venues ready in time for next year.
ASIAN GAMES 2018, JAKARTA
NUMBER OF SPORTS 40
NUMBER OF EVENTS 462
"I think everyone understands that this is a very big undertaking but it's been more than 50 years since we had the Asian Games so we are very excited and looking forward to it."
The final programme includes all 33 sports that will be staged at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, as well as others that are popular in Asia such as additional martial arts, sepak takraw, kabaddi, jet ski, paragliding and the card game bridge.
OLYMPIC GAMES 2020, TOKYO
NUMBER OF SPORTS 33
NUMBER OF EVENTS 321
Indonesia has been short of preparation time from the outset after agreeing in 2014 to step in when the original host, Vietnam, pulled out for reasons of cost.
The only previous time Indonesia hosted the Asian Games was in 1962, when there were fewer than 1,500 athletes and 13 sports, making next year's edition by far the biggest sports event held in the archipelago.
A series of test events planned for the end of this year have already been pushed back until next February.
But the Indonesian delegation assured the general assembly during a slick, well-received presentation that all the venues and infrastructure would be ready well before the Games commence.