TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - As the host of the Asian Games 2018, Indonesia has been working hard to prepare various facilities, where the development and renovation projects are expected to complete before the end of this year.
The facilities for the Asian Games 2018 are located in the capital city of Jakarta and Palembang (South Sumatra).
However, the Youth and Sports Affairs Ministry (Kemenpora) has set 15 arenas for matches and 11 training arenas in West Java Province which shares border with Jakarta to support implementation of the 2018 Asian Games.
The Youth and Sports Affairs Minister, Imam Nahrawi said in Sumenep, East Java on Saturday (April 22) that infrastructure preparation for the 2018 Asian Games has reached 61.7 percent.
"We along with the relevant parties are very serious in preparing everything for the 2018 Asian Games. For the time being, the preparation of the infrastructure is 61.7 percent and thats good," Imam remarked, adding that the infrastructure preparation will finish in October 2017.
The infrastructure used for the 2018 Asian Games will then become a legacy that can be utilized by the future generations.
The minister also explained that it is a trust as well as a challenge for Indonesia to organize the Asian Games 2018, which will take place from August 18 to September 2, 2018. Indonesia once hosted the Asian Games in 1962.
Earlier, Vice President Jusuf Kalla who is also chairman of the Asian Games 2018 steering committee has even expressed his optimism about completion of the facilities set before the end of this year.
Jusuf Kalla, better known as JK, recently took a look at the development of three out of 14 sports facilities at the Gelora Bung Karno (GBK) sports complex including the GBK main stadium, the aquatic facility and Senayan sports hall.
After visiting the GBK sports complex as well as the Athletes Village in Kemayoran, Kalla visited the velodrome and the equestrian field in Pulo Mas, East Jakarta.
"If the GBK (the biggest project) could be finished by the end of this year and so will certainly the others," he said.
The vice president said all infrastructure development projects must be assured to meet the quality standard and the deadline as trial matches would be carried out in October this year.
"We will conduct trial (games) on the facilities and they will not only be done once but several times," he said.
Regarding the sport branches, Kalla said that a total of 36 sports will be competed in the 2018 Asian Games.
"We have decided (to hold competitions in) 36 sports. Olympic sports must be competed in the games. We will reduce the number of sports that need high organizational cost but have less potential to produce medals for us," Kalla stated after attending the limited coordination meeting of the Asian Games XVIII at the office of the Indonesian Olympic Committee in Jakarta on Saturday (March 25).
In comparison, 28 sports were contested in the 2016 Rio Olympics. Olympics are not about the number of sports being competed, but it is more about the quality of the implementation of the games,"JK remarked.
In the meantime, President of the Indonesia Asian Games Organizing Committee (INASGOC), Erich Thohir, said here on Monday (March 27) that Asia Olympic Council or OCA has been informed about the number of sports branches to be competed in the Asian Games next year.
"We have informed OCA but it was not in the form of an official letter. They have conducted a review," Erick said after meeting with Commission X of the House of Representatives.
OCA, he said, has not officially announced the reduction in the number of sports branches to be competed in the Asian Games 2018 in Indonesia in August from initially 42 to 36.
"I cannot tell about the OCA response right now. We hope the official decision to compete 36 branches will have been ready by April because other countries also have to prepare their athletes," he said.
Apart from that, Iwa Karniwa, secretary of the West Java provincial government, the sport events that will be held in West Java including football, paragliding, bridge, bike racing, mountain bike, roller sport, handball, surf and canoe slalom.
"Soccer matches will be conducted in the stadiums of Pakansari in Bogor, Wibawa Mukti Bekasi, Patriot Bekasi, Jalak Harupat in Bandung District and the Bandung Lautan Api or GBLA in Bandung city," Iwa said.
Meanwhile, the paragliding is expected to held at the Gunung Mas, Puncak, Bogor, roller sport in Patriot stadium, mountain bike in Subang, hand ball in UPI Gymnasium Bandung, surfing in Cimaja in Pelabuhan Ratu in Sukabumi District and canoe in Bendung Rentang.
Additionally, Harry Warganegara, acting secretary general of INASGOC, said here recently that the Organizing Committee of Asian Games in Indonesia (INASGOC) will recruit more than 20 thousand volunteers to help organize the 18th Asian Games.
The public, particularly university students, were enthusiastic to become volunteers, he disclosed. Forty five countries will participate in the Asian Games.
The volunteers will escort some 11 thousand athletes and officials from 45 Asian nations, and five thousand pressmen.