Jakarta and Palembang are finalising their infrastructure preparations for the 2018 Asian Games, which is set to get underway later this week in the Indonesian cities.
With Indonesia having only been awarded the Games in 2014 after the original host, Vietnam, withdrew, organisers have faced a shortened time frame to deliver the multi-sport event, which takes place from August 18 to September 2.
Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan yesterday (Monday) declared 12 sporting venues ready for use. Ten of the venues have been renovated, while the Jakarta International BMX Track (JIBT) and the Jakarta International Baseball Arena (JIBA) are new.
The Jakarta Post newspaper said the renovation cost of the 10 venues was IDR35.8bn (€2.13m/$2.5m). The cost of the JIBT and the JIBA was IDR27bn and IDR39.3bn, respectively. The redevelopment projects only began in November, while the JIBT was developed from January to July this year and the JIBA from April to July.
Anies said: “Indonesia is out of the ordinary… people are always pessimistic about us, they think we’ll fail… but we don’t.”
Meanwhile, Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Human and Cultural Development, Puan Maharani, has said facilities in Palembang are now 99-per-cent ready. After inspecting facilities for beach volleyball, canoeing and rowing, she stated: “Things that previously needed evaluation have been fixed. God willing, the Jakabaring sport center in Palembang, is ready to host the Asian Games.”
Puan added, according to Indonesian news agency Antara: “Hopefully the area and the facilities which take almost three years in building would result in successful implementation of the Games.”