Jakarta (ANTARA News) - In less than a year, the 18th Asian Games will be organized in Jakarta and the South Sumatran provincial capital of Palembang, with the participation of thousands of athletes from 45 Asian nations.

The Asian Games 2018 is the most important event in Jakarta next year, so promotion efforts are being intensified by raising more advertising banners in public areas.

Some 9,500 athletes, 2,500 personnel of the Asian Olympic Council, and 5,500 technical delegates from 45 countries will participate or be involved in the event. At least 3,500 media representatives are expected to cover it.

As the co-host of the largest regional sports event in Asia, Jakarta hopes that every Jakartan is aware and proud of the Asian Games, which will run from Aug 18 to Sept 2, 2018.

Deputy Governor of Jakarta Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno has instructed his subordinates to promote the Games next year in residential areas of the capital city.

"We have ordered the provincial administration`s apparatus, including those operating at the neighborhood level, to promote the Asian Games," Uno told reporters on Dec 12.

Intensified promotion is necessary because not every inhabitant of Jakarta is aware of the Asian Games, according to Uno.

"Based on the monthly survey we conducted, only the middle and upper class are aware of the Asian Games, while the lower-middle class and working class have not felt the impact of the Asian Games," he revealed.

Ratiyono, head of the Jakarta youth affairs and sports office, confirmed on Dec 13 that the provincial administration would step up promotional efforts in accordance with the governor`s instructions. "We are intensifying the promotion of the Asian Games 2018, in cooperation with the Indonesian Asian Games Organizing Committee (INASGOC)," he said.

INASGOC has allocated funds amounting to Rp70 billion to produce accessories depicting the Asian Games` logo, mascot, banners, posters, and so on.

In July last year, three humanoid animal characters were unveiled to the public in Jakarta as the new mascots of the 18th Asian Games.

The mascots are named Bhin-Bhin, a bird of paradise locally known as Cenderawasih of Papua; Atung, a Bawean deer (Axis kuhlii) of East Java; and Kaka, a one-horned rhino (Rhinoceros sondaicus) of Ujung Kulon (Java Island).

Their names were inspired by the official national motto of Indonesia Bhinneka Tunggal Ika, which translates to "Unity in Diversity."

The mascots also deliver a message of nature conservation to the world, as environmental campaigns featuring these animals have gained popularity.

"We will distribute more accessories related to the Asian Games in certain areas, such as in the Hotel Indonesian Circle (HI), Jakarta Old City, and in Kemayoran," Ratiyono said.

The accessories have been provided by INASGOC, while the venues and permits were prepared by the Jakarta administration.

"Accessories must be made available to highlight the Asian Games 2018. The Jakarta provincial government has prepared the locations and licensing," Ratiyono noted.

"Currently, the promotion of the Asian Games is being intensified on Asia Africa street in the Senayan area (southern Jakarta). But, I want the promotion activities to be carried out in sub-district and neighborhood areas, as well as in schools," Ratiyono remarked.

Further, the Borobudur-Bali Tour de Indonesia (TdI) 2018 to be held on Jan 25-28 will help promote the Asian Games and Para Games.

"We have lent support. We hope the two major sporting events will have synergy with other sporting events," Raja Sapta Oktohari, chairman of the Indonesian Bicycle Association, stated here, recently.

TdI was officially launched in Jakarta on December 11.

It has been included on the UCI calendar, and its level has been upgraded from 2.2 to 2.1. The level increase means that participants in the event have to be from Pro Tour, Pro Continental, Continental, and national teams.

Logos and banners of the 18th Asian Games and Para Games will be raised in every venue of the TdI.

A total of 25 teams, including eight special invitees, will participate in the sixth TdI. Continental Indonesia will send three teams -- KFC, CCC, and PGN -- to participate in the TdI.

The 755-kilometer (km)-long tour comprises four stages: Borobudur-Madiun, covering 195 km; Madiun-Prigen, spanning 216 km; Probolinggo-Banyuwangi, reaching 198 km; and Gilimanuk-Denpasar, covering 163 km.

The 18th Asian Games will be the second time Indonesia hosts the Asian Games, after hosting it for the first time in 1962.

(f001/INE )

Reporter: Fardah Assegaf
Editor: Aditia Maruli Radja
Copyright © ANTARA 2017