Asian Games kicks off to dazzling display of lights and fireworks

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Jakarta: Indonesia put up a dazzling display of colours during the Opening Ceremony of the Asian Games 2018 at Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta on Saturday.

President Joko Widodo officially opened Asia’s biggest sporting event in a dazzling ceremony that showcased the nation’s traditional cultures.

ASIAN GAMES

Witnessed by around 40,000 spectators, the ceremony opened with 2,200 high school dancers from 18 senior high schools across the capital who enchanted the audience with the Saman dance, a traditional dance from Aceh, the westernmost province in the country.

A burst of fireworks followed the announcement, marking the start of the two-week tournament to be held in Jakarta and Palembang in Sumatra. The ceremony stage — with features of 120-metre length, 30-metre width and 26-metre height — showcased a towering mountain as its background, accompanied by plants and flowers unique to Indonesia.

Commonwealth Games gold medallist Neeraj Chopra was India’s flag-bearer in the opening ceremony. The Indian sports ministry had cleared an 804-member Indian contingent, including 572 athletes, for the Asian Games.

The sporting extravaganza will see around 10,000 athletes from 45 countries compete in 58 games.

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