Date : 07 Aug 2018
Palembang, Indonesia, August 7, 2018: One of the best sports complexes in the world awaits athletes of the 18th Asian Games in co-host city Palembang, according to the Governor of South Sumatra province, Alex Noerdin.
Speaking before the next leg of the Asian Games Torch Relay on Tuesday morning, the Governor was asked what the visiting athletes could expect from Palembang.
“They can see the Jakabaring Sport City - one of the best in the world,” he replied. “It is 360 hectares. From swamp we have made a sports city with an international standard – and in the centre of the city. It is very easy to reach.”
The Olympic Council of Asia’s 18th Asian Games will be held in Jakarta and Palembang from August 18 to September 2 with 40 sports, 67 disciplines and 465 events.
It is the first time in history that the Asian Games will be co-hosted, with Palembang located 1,000km from Jakarta and requiring a 50-minute flight.
The main venue inside Jakabaring Sport City is Gelora Sriwijaya Stadium, which will be used for women’s football, and other sports to be hosted in the complex include shooting, rowing, canoe/kayak, indoor bowling and triathlon. There is also an Asian Games village for 3,000 athletes and officials, leading Governor Noerdin to claim: “All the preparations, all the venues are to an international standard - the only one in the world.”
Palembang has experience of hosting other international multi-sport events, notably the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in 2011, but the Asian Games offers new challenges.
Looking ahead to the opening ceremony on August 18, Governor Noerdin said: “From now it is 11 days, 11 hours and 23 minutes to go.
“I am very happy because this has been a long journey from the 2011 SEA Games here in Jakabaring Sport City to now, so we have been preparing for this for more than 10 years. We are still working, but generally we are ready for all the preparations.
“The people are very enthusiastic and happy - not only the athletes and officials and all the guests but all the people, not only in Palembang but also in South Sumatra. You can see this on the torch relay.”
Palembang is already enjoying the legacy of the 18th Asian Games with the opening of the Light Rail Transit (LRT) from the international airport to the city centre. There are 13 stations along the 24.5-km track and the train runs above the iconic Musi River in a bid to ease traffic congestion over the Ampera Bridge.
From the airport terminal of Bandara, Jakabaring is the 12th of 13 stations and organisers are planning to transport athletes and officials direct from the airport to the village inside the Sport City via the LRT.
“It is the very first in Indonesia and very easy for the officials and athletes - 30-35 minutes from the airport to Jakabaring and no traffic at all,” said the Governor, adding that the LRT was just one of many advantages for Palembang and South Sumatra in co-hosting the 18th Asian Games.
“First is the promotion for this area,” he said. “We have all the infrastructure of the Asian Games and it belongs to us. This is also for the people, the economic growth and everything.”
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