18 Aug - 2 Sep 2018

Indonesia announces surprise bid for 2032 Olympics

The torch for the 18th Asian Games arrived in Jakarta after an 18,000-km journey across Indonesia

JAKARTA: Indonesia unveiled surprise plans to bid for the 2032 Olympics on Saturday (Sep 1) as it rides high from its successful staging of the Asian Games.

President Joko Widodo revealed Indonesia's intentions after talks with Olympics chief Thomas Bach and Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, head of the Olympic Council of Asia.

"Indonesia has planned to immediately register itself as a candidate for the 2032 Olympics host," he said, after talks with International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach and the head of the Olympic Council of Asia.

"With our experience in hosting the 18th Asian Games, I believe Indonesia will be able to host an event of a larger scale," Widodo added.

Bach, who is expected to attend Sunday's closing ceremony, welcomed the announcement and said the Asian Games had been "very impressive".

"I could congratulate the president on the great success of the Asian Games which is very impressive," said Bach.

"Therefore the IOC really appreciates the candidature of Indonesia for the Olympic Games in 2032," he added.

Indonesia's announcement reflects the growing clout and resources of countries in Asia, which is hosting three Olympics within the space of four years.

After this year's Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, Tokyo is holding the 2020 Summer Games and Beijing will host the winter edition in 2022 -- becoming the first city to organise both the summer and winter Games.

The 2032 Olympics are the next Summer Games up for grabs as following Tokyo 2020, Paris will host in 2024 and Los Angeles in 2028.

Indonesia stepped in at the last minute to host the Asian Games, which with 17,000 athletes and officials is similar to the Olympics in size.

Despite only having four years to prepare, after original host Vietnam pulled out over financial concerns in 2014, the venues were finished on time and any problems proved to be minor.

Ticketing was one major headache for organisers, along with Jakarta's notorious traffic, while some athletes baulked at competing in the capital city's unhealthy levels of air pollution.

The Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang, a port city on Sumatra island, featured 40 sports - seven more than the Tokyo 2020 programme, including the full Olympic roster.

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