Test events to help prep asiad athletes

The 18th Asian Games in Indonesia will provide a glimpse of what it feels like playing in the biggest sports meet of the continent.

Erick Thohir, president of the Indonesia Asian Games Organizing Committee (Inasgoc), recently announced they would hold test events for nine sports next month to simulate the fierce competition at the Asian quadrennial meet to be held in the cities of Jakarta and Palembang.

Test events in archery, athletics, basketball, boxing, football, weightlifting, volleyball indoor, taekwondo and pencak silat are scheduled Feb. 10 to 18 with 1,991 athletes and 487 officials from 45 countries expected to participate.

Thohir, who also sits as president of the Indonesian Olympic Committee, said they were looking at 9,500 athletes, 20,000 volunteers, 3,500 media personnel, 2,500 VIPs and 5,500 technical officials to attend the Games set Aug. 18 to Sept. 2.

“Indonesia is a part of globalization and sports is for unity,” Thohir told the Inquirer. “Our country is multicultural so respect for culture is very important and we want to show this image as part of globalization.”

A total of 462 gold medals will be offered from 40 sports and 67 disciplines, 28 of them Olympic sports contested in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Summer Games.

“The number of sports and events are already final but we will allow changes on the type of events to be played,” said Thohir, adding that accreditation for all participants, including members of the media, will begin within the month.

Athletics will offer the most number of golds in 48 events while swimming will dangle 41 gold medals. Palembang will host 11 sports while the rest will be played in Jakarta.

Filipinos brought home one gold, three silver and 11 bronze medals from the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea.

Thohir said a torch relay would be held six weeks before the Games. The relay would go through 10,000 kilometers covering six major cities in Indonesia.

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