Jakarta. The 2018 Asian Games torch arrived in Yogyakarta on Tuesday (17/07). Its relay will pass 18 provinces and 53 cities on the way to the Gelora Bung Karno sports complex in Jakarta.
The torch was carried by Indonesia's Olympic gold medalist, shuttler Susi Susanti, who brought it from India, the country which held the first edition of the Games in 1951.
Its flame joined the Mrapen eternal flame in Grobogan, Central Java, before it reached Central Java's capital of Semarang on Wednesday.
"It was a great ceremony, witnessed with pride by the people of Central Java," Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo said in a statement.
The torch will arrive in Jakarta on August 17 for the Games' opening ceremony on Aug. 18.
"Yogyakarta was chosen to welcome the torch, as it is a region with unique history, great tourism and growing small-medium enterprises," Coordinating Human Development and Cultural Affairs Minister Puan Maharani said, referring to the Games' intended economic impact on tourism and culture.
"We must be proud, as after 56 years we will now host the Games again," she added.
Jakarta and Palembang in South Sumatra will co-host the event with more than 10,000 athletes from 45 countries.
Vice President Jusuf Kalla said last year that the government would contribute around Rp 30 trillion ($2.07 billion) for the event to be organized properly. The budget included development of the country's first light rail transit system, which will soon start operations in Palembang.
Indonesia will send 900 athletes to participate in 40 sports, its chief de mission, Comr. Gen. Syafruddin, said last week.
Jakarta hosted the Asian Games in 1962.