Jakarta (ANTARA) - At least 550 athletes from 10 countries are expected to take part in the international lion dance competition organized by the Indonesia Dragon and Lion Dance Sport Association (PB FOBI) from May 17–19, 2024.

PB FOBI chairperson Edy Kusuma said that athletes from Australia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Vietnam, Taiwan, and Thailand are expected to compete in the "1st FOBI World Lion and Dragon Dance Championship 2024."

"The championship is the first of its kind organized by PB FOBI since its inclusion in the Indonesia National Sports Committee (KONI) on February 20, 2013," Kusuma informed at a press conference here on Wednesday.

He informed that athletes will vie for three trophies at the competition. The trophies are the President Cup for the southern lion dance, locally known as barongsai; the Youth and Sports Minister Cup for the northern lion dance, or pekingsai; and the Defense Minister Cup for the dragon dance.

Kusuma said that the organizer has prepared several facilities for participants, including transportation and accommodation.

The competition will be overseen by 22 competent and certified judges — 13 from Indonesia and nine from other countries, he added.

He informed that besides live broadcasts on national televisions, residents can watch the competition by purchasing tickets online.

PB FOBI also encouraged the 180 Indonesian lion dance athletes participating in the competition to do their best and make Indonesia proud, he said.

Meanwhile, KONI secretary general Lukman Djajadikusuma said he is optimistic that major tourism events, such as the international lion dance competition, will encourage sports tourism, which, in turn, will boost the economy.

"We expect Indonesia would be the main player in barongsai sport at the global level," he added.

He also expects the government to develop lion dance as an established sport, especially as Indonesia has secured five world champion titles at various international lion dance sports competitions.

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Translator: Donny Aditra, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Aditya Eko Sigit Wicaksono
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