"We thank the foreign affairs minister for her willingness to participate in the torch relay, as it would boost our spirit, particularly of the Indonesian athletes, who will compete next month," Eris Herryanto, secretary general of the Indonesian Asian Games Organizing Committee (Inasgoc), stated here, Thursday.
Governor of Yogyakarta Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono X will light the flame and hand over the torch to Minister Marsudi.
The minister will run for 100 meters toward the north square of Yogyakarta and later hand over the torch to Yogyakarta Police Chief Brig. Gen. Ahmad Dofiri.
Several VIPs and athletes will participate in the torch relay in Yogyakarta that will cover a total distance of 8.5 kilometers (km).
From Yogyakarta, the torch relay will head to Surakarta, where badminton player Sigit Budiarto and actress Dian Sastrowardoyo will also run carrying the torch in their hands.
The torch relay will tour 53 cities in 18 provinces, with a total distance of some 18 thousand km across Indonesia.
Last Tuesday (July 17), the torch arrived in Yogyakarta from New Delhi, with the flame generated from a parabolic mirror directed straight at the sun in India, where the Asian Games flame was lit for the first time during the inaugural edition in 1951.
On Wednesday evening, the flame from India was merged with the eternal flame from Mrapen, at the Pramanan Temple.
After the merging of the two flames, Vice President M. Jusuf Kalla handed over the torch to badminton player Finarshi at the complex of Prambanan temple.
The relay is expected to end on Aug 17 when the torch arrives at the Bung Karno Main Stadium in Jakarta.
Over 16 thousand athletes from 45 countries will participate in the 18th Asian Games, to be co-hosted by Jakarta and Palembang, South Sumatra Province, from August 18 to September 2, 2018.
Reported by Imam Santoso
EDITED BY INE
(T.SYS/A/KR-BSR/C/O001) 19-07-2018 12:17:33