In precisely two months – on Saturday, August 18 – the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Council of Asia’s 18th Asian Games will take place at the Gelora Bung Karno Main Stadium in Jakarta, Indonesia.

It will be the second time the Indonesian capital has hosted the OCA’s premier sports event, following the fourth edition in 1962, but these 18th Asian Games will make history as the first to be co-hosted, together with Palembang, capital of South Sumatra province, located around 1,000km from Jakarta.

The President of the Indonesia Asian Games Organising Committee (INASGOC), Mr Erick Thohir, says the focus for the final two months of the countdown will be on the people who are coming to the Asian Games, namely the spectators and the athletes.

“It is important to engage the people, not only in Indonesia but in Asia, about how they can have easy access to ticketing and also how to come to the venues,” he said.

“At the same time, we want to make sure that what we are promising to our athletes we are giving them the best: food, transportation and security. The athletes are the most important people.

“Those are the two main things for the organising committee in these last two months, but of course there are many others.”

INASGOC is teaming up with an experienced international ticketing agent, KiosTix, in a bid to sell 1.3 million tickets for the 18th Asian Games, which will run from August 18 to September 2.

With the cheapest ticket at 30,000 Rupiah (2 USD) and the average price at 100,000 Rupiah (7 USD), the organisers are hoping to attract as many spectators as possible to the venues by selling tickets at supermarkets, convenience stores, banks and Asian Games merchandise shops as well as at the venues on the day and online through KiosTix. Ticket sales will begin from June 30.

Regarding transportation, Mr Thohir said several measures were in place in an attempt to bypass Jakarta’s notorious traffic congestion and meet a target of 34 minutes from the new Athletes’ Village at Kemayoran to the Gelora Bung Karno sports complex in downtown Senayan.

These steps include a special Olympic lane using the bus way, accompanied by a police motorcycle escort and with the roads under police control; an “odd and even” registration number coding system for private cars; the exclusive use of toll roads for Asian Games vehicles if the traffic is particularly heavy; and flexible hours for schools – for example from 6.30am to 2pm – and offices to reduce the number of cars, especially in the evenings.

As for security, Mr Thohir said INASGOC had been working closely with the army and police since 2016 and that the operation had been expanded to incorporate intelligence and anti-terror units. There will be around 36,000 security officers on duty at the Asian Games.

Another major milestone on the road to the 18th Asian Games 2018 will be the 50 Days Countdown on June 29, when the gold, silver and bronze medals will be revealed to the public, as well as the official theme song.

With 40 sports, 67 disciplines and 463 events on the programme, a total of 4,066 medals will be presented during the Asian Games.

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