Following a slick opening ceremony, the 18th Asian Games is all set to get underway in the twin cities of Jakarta and Palembang where 11,000 athletes from 45 countries will be in action. The showpiece event which is scheduled to commence on August 19 will witness a two-week long sporting extravaganza in Indonesia.
In the 2014 edition in Incheon, India had equalled the record for its best performance in the Games history, amassing 57 medals — including 11 gold. This time out the contingent of 572 athletes will be aiming to up the ante by bringing more laurels to the country.
In a wonderful gesture, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has extended his best wishes to the Indian contingent participating at the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia. He asserted that the Indian athletes would make the country proud at the quadrennial event.
Ahead of the Asian Games, India's Chef de Mission, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh paid homage to the late Atal Bihari Vajpayee's, for his massive contributions during his tenure. Bhushan Sharan Singh has vowed that all medals won by country's athletes will be dedicated to the BJP stalwart.
However, the Indian contingent suffered a major setback to their medal chances with tennis ace Leander Paes pulling out two days before the start of the showpiece event in Indonesia. The veteran tennis player decision comes as a result of not getting a 'specialist' doubles partner for the tournament.
Heading into Day 1 of the 2018 Asian Games, the Indian contingent faces an action-packed schedule. India's medal hopes will be pinned on the wrestlers and shooters on the opening first day. Followed by the Indian women's hockey and kabaddi team's who will be in action in their preliminary fixtures against Japan and Indonesia respectively. The rest of the Indian contingent will be participating in various individual and team events consisting of rowing, wushu, badminton, handball and basketball.