Asian Games 2018 opening ceremony highlights: Neeraj leads India contingent

Indian contingent led by Neeraj Chopra at Asian Games 2018 opening ceremony. Photo: Reuters
The Asian games 2018  begin with a spectacular opening ceremony today at Gelora Bung Karno (GBK) main stadium in Jakarta. For the first time in the history of the Asian Games, also known as Asiad Games, the sporting event will be hosted by two cities — Jakarta and Palembang. The pan-Asian multi-sport tournament returns to Indonesia after a gap of fifty-six year, having been held last in Jakarta in 1962. The Asian Games 2018 opening ceremony is scheduled to feature renowned Indonesian singers such as Anggun, Raisa, Tulus, Edo Kondologit, Putri Ayu, Fatin, GAC, Kamasean and Via Vallen. The stage of opening ceremony — which measures 120 metres in length, 30 metres in width and 26 metres in height — will showcase a towering mountain in the background, accompanied by plants and flowers unique to the host nation.

Artists line up for Asian Games 2018 opening ceremony 

Asian javelin throw champion Neeraj Chopra lead Indian contingent in the opening ceremony of the Asian Games 2018. Chopra, 20, is one of India's brightest prospects to win a gold medal at the Asiad as he delivered a season-best effort of 86.47 meters in men's javelin throw at the 2018 Commonwealth Games (CWG). A total of 572 athletes will be participating in the event in 36 different sports categories. The contingent will be led by Chef de Mission Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. In the 2014 Asiad in Incheon, India finished eighth, with 57 medals. This time, the Indian contingent, which has several youngsters, will look to break jinx of not winning 15 gold medals in Asiad. Historically, India has never won more than 15 gold medals in even one of the 17 editions of the competition so far. India’s best – 15 golds – came in the first edition 67 years back when it ushered in the Games by hosting them in Delhi at the National Stadium. Since then, Indians have struggled to come near that mark, the exceptions being the 2010 Guangzhou Games where the country won 14 gold medals and the 1982 Games at home, where it won 13 gold.

8:15 PM IST Here's Asian Games 2018 opening ceremony highlights Thank you for watching the #OpeningCeremonyAsianGames2018! Did you enjoy the show? See you at the games! #OpeningAG2018 #AsianGames2018 pic.twitter.com/lzlaZ0OVv6 — Asian Games 2018 (@asiangames2018) August 18, 2018

8:07 PM IST The opening ceremony comes to a close.

8:01 PM IST Susi Susanti lights the cauldron Susi Susanti lights the cauldron, and with this the torch completes its journey! The torch that has been brought from India and across Indonesia, has finally been placed in the cauldron! What a spectacular welcome! #OpeningCeremonyAsianGames2018 #OpeningAG2018 #AsianGames2018 pic.twitter.com/aPcXNEd7fj — Asian Games 2018 (@asiangames2018) August 18, 2018

7:40 PM IST PM Narendra Modi extends greeting to India contingent Best wishes to the Indian contingent for the @asiangames2018, which are being held in Indonesia. We are extremely proud of our athletes and I am sure they will give their best through the games. #AsianGames2018 — Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 18, 2018

7:39 PM IST Asian Games 2018 officialy get underway as cauldron lights up Six of Indonesia's former medal-winning athletes carried the torch all the way up the imposing mountainous structure of the stage, right up to the very top, where it was used to light a huge fire in a basin fashioned in the style of a volcanic crater.

7:34 PM IST Lighting of the cauldron shortly Stay tuned for the lighting of the cauldron at the#OpeningCeremonyAsianGames2018! Watch the broadcast on national tv channels and https://t.co/qVN2hgr1b3! #OpeningAG2018 #AsianGames2018 pic.twitter.com/hhC4y483WD — Asian Games 2018 (@asiangames2018) August 18, 2018

7:33 PM IST The ethereal voice of Putri Ayu creates an audible hush amongst the crowd. Goosebumps all over!#OpeningCeremonyAsianGames2018 #OpeningAG2018 #AsianGames2018 pic.twitter.com/Rwxb1m2Tm5 — Asian Games 2018 (@asiangames2018) August 18, 2018

7:18 PM IST Stay tuned for the lighting of the cauldron at the#OpeningCeremonyAsianGames2018! Watch the broadcast on national tv channels and https://t.co/qVN2hgr1b3! #OpeningAG2018 #AsianGames2018 pic.twitter.com/hhC4y483WD — Asian Games 2018 (@asiangames2018) August 18, 2018

7:12 PM IST Raisa is now singing! #OpeningCeremonyAsianGames2018 #OpeningAG2018 #AsianGames2018 — Asian Games 2018 (@asiangames2018) August 18, 2018

7:04 PM IST The ceremony show begins after the Protocol segment got over.

6:58 PM IST Indonesia's Olympic medalists are carrying the Olympic Council of Asia flag to be hoisted by Indonesia's Flag Hoisting Troop.#OpeningCeremonyAsianGames2018 #OpeningAG2018 #AsianGames2018 — Asian Games 2018 (@asiangames2018) August 18, 2018

6:53 PM IST Indonesia President Joko Widodo declares the games open.

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Here's Asian Games 2018 opening ceremony highlights


The opening ceremony comes to a close.


PM Narendra Modi extends greeting to India contingent


Asian Games 2018 officialy get underway as cauldron lights up

Six of Indonesia's former medal-winning athletes carried the torch all the way up the imposing mountainous structure of the stage, right up to the very top, where it was used to light a huge fire in a basin fashioned in the style of a volcanic crater.
Lighting of the cauldron shortly


The ceremony show begins after the Protocol segment got over.
Indonesia President Joko Widodo declares the games open.


Indonesia's flag is brought on stage by Paskibra (Flag Hoisting Troop)


In case you missed Indian contingent parade in opening ceremony. Check here


Indonesian's national anthem being played after the flag hoisting ceremony.
Indonesian singer Via Vallen is crooning to her hit singles
The Parade of Nations comes to a close
A spectacular picture from Jakarta


And the last country are the host nation Indonesia. A rousing reception for their team from the spectators.
 Vietnam and Yemen are the next countries
India Gold Medal favourites

Emerging star Hima Das will spearhead the Indian challenge in the women's sprint events. The 18-year-old from a remore village in Assam became the first Indian to claim a world championships gold in the track events when she won the women's 400m title at the World U-20 Championships last month.


Thailand makes their way to the historic Gelora Bung Karno stadium
The two Korean nations (United Korea) will compete together in three disciplines namely lightweight rowing, dragon boat racing and basketball


Singapore and Sri Landka arrives at Gelora Bung Karno main stadium, followed by Syria
Jordan, Kazakhstan aarive at Gelora Bung Karno (GBK) main stadium led by their respective flag bearers followed by Korea.
At the start of opening ceremony, hundreds of dancers dressed in colourful garb kneel on the stage in a perfect rectangle as they perform a co-ordinated dance routine in the traditional Saman style of Indonesia



 Iran and Japan are the next two teams to follow.
Flag-bearer Neeraj Chopra leads the Indian athletes, with everyone dressed in sharp black suits and waving Indian flags
Afghanistan is the 1st of the 49 nations to begin their march. Bahrain;s participants follow next. Bangladesh are the third country.
The Asian Games 2018 begins


 is among the favourites for the gold medal in men's javelin 

This year, around 12,000 athletes from 45 countries will compete in 40 disciplines. The main thrust of the Indian challenge is expected to come from athletics, wrestling, boxing and shooting. Indian athletes have traditionally done well at the Asian Games. This year, for junior world champion and reigning Asian champion Neeraj  is among the favourites for the gold medal in men's javelin. The 20-year-old from Haryana is in good form this year, and have trained in Finland for the past few weeks where he won gold at  Savo Games last months set a new national record during the first leg of the Diamond League in Doha in May when he registered a  attempt of 87.43 metres.

Represented by 804 athletes and officials, the Indian contingent will aim to better the show this time than previous Asiad in Incheon, South Korea, where they finished eighth with 11 gold, 10 silver and 36 bronze medals. The best performance by India at the Asian Games came at the 2010 edition in Guangzhou, China where they finished sixth with 14 gold, 17 silver and 34 bronze



Anggun gracefully takes the stage with her powerful voice


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