Jakarta Youth and Sport Agency chief Ratiyono has said the Indonesian capital will be ready to stage the Asian Games in 2019 and is now just waiting for the go ahead from the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) when it names the host next month.
The city’s Lieutenant Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama last month pledged to bring the event to his nation – the sole bidder – in five years’ time after it originally lost out to Vietnam’s capital Hanoi, which in 2012 was named as the host of the Games but later withdrew because of economic pressures.
He said the time is right for Jakarta – with Palembang, South Sumatra acting as co-host – to hold the competition again after last staging the Games in 1962.
“It will become an important catalyst for tidying up the city,” Basuki added.
Meanwhile, Ratiyono explained that Indonesia’s hosting of the 2011 Southeast Asian Games means there is already a number of facilities ready for the Games, although some sports arenas would still need to be constructed or rebuilt, such as the Rawamangun Velodrome for cycling.
“We already have a number of international-level arenas, so we are not starting from zero,” he said.
“We can hold sailing competitions in Ancol [Dreamland], North Jakarta and archery contests in Senayan, Central Jakarta.”
He added that there is already an indoor tennis stadium in Senayan, the Kempo Hall in Ciracas, East Jakarta, and the Judo Hall in Kelapa Gading, North Jakarta.
Ratiyono did say the soccer stadium at BMW Park will need to be torn down to make way for the construction of a mass rapid transit (MRT) project, but was confident the work can be finished before the Games would be due to begin.
He also said that existing commercial apartments and hotels could be used for accommodation and insisted that if Jakarta lacked a facility, other cities – such as Bandung in West Java – could step in to provide them.
A team of OCA officials are due to visit both Jakarta and Palembang this month to assess the infrastructure and sporting facilities ahead of the 2019 Asian Games host city announcement on September 20 in Incheon, South Korea – the location of this year’s Games.
This article first appeared in Inside the Games and has been reproduced with permission. The original article can be viewed by clicking here.