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Asian Games 2018 opening ceremony at Jakarta, highlights - as it happened

Asian Games 2018 opening ceremony highlights: The opening ceremony of Asian Games 2018 took place in Jakarta. The Games were declared open amid much fanfare.

By HT Correspondent | Aug 18, 2018 19:58 IST

Highlights : The Asian Games 2018 is here and nations from all around the continent will be vying for top honours in 40 sports and 462 gold medal events. Following their Commonwealth Games success in 2010, India grabbed their best medal haul at the continental games the same year in Guangzhou, China, winning 14 gold medals, 17 silver and 37 bronze. Neeraj Chopra lead the Indian contingent at the opening ceremony of the Asian Games.

19:58 hrs IST

That’s the ceremony

Phew! What a ceremony that was, huh. Thank you for sitting through it with us, and do join us tomorrow for more live coverage of the Asian Games 2018. Until then, goodbye!

19:51 hrs IST

PM Modi sends his best

19:32 hrs IST

India’s schedule on Day 1

19:22 hrs IST

Esports Debut

Esports debuts as an official demonstration sport in Indonesia, which volunteered to host the Games after Vietnam pulled out in 2014 because of financial concerns.

19:10 hrs IST


Some 13,000 athletes will compete in 40 sports and 67 disciplines, including new additions such as bridge, jet skiing and roller skating in the biggest multi-sport extravaganza outside the Olympics.

19:01 hrs IST

Asian Games Oath

18:52 hrs IST

Let the games begin

President of Indonesia Joko Widodo declares the 2018 Asian Games open.

18:44 hrs IST

National anthem

18:33 hrs IST

Via Vallen

The parade of the nations has ended and now, it is time for Via Vallen to perform her hit songs.

18:26 hrs IST

Huge crowd

Some 42,000 people packed the Bung Karno stadium in Jakarta on Saturday evening for an elaborate ceremony showcasing diverse Indonesian culture.

18:20 hrs IST

Historic moment

North and South Korea marched together behind the Korean Unification flag at the Asian Games opening ceremony on Saturday, in the latest demonstration of their rapprochement.

18:12 hrs IST

Neeraj leads the way

Indian flag bearer Neeraj Chopra marches in during the opening ceremony of the Asian Games. ( AP )
18:02 hrs IST

United Korea

South Korean President Moon Jae-in met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in April and May and their summits have opened various channels of peace talks, including ongoing military talks for reducing border tensions, Red Cross talks that set up temporary reunions between war-separated relatives, and sports talks that led to an agreement to field combined teams at the Asian Games in August.

17:58 hrs IST

Indian contingent

The Indian contingent was led by Neeraj Chopra and they waved towards the crowd while walking across the stadium. Here’s a wish from Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore -

17:55 hrs IST

A special wish

17:53 hrs IST

Team China

The Chinese contingent is here and China has sent a delegation of 845 athletes, including 19 Olympic champions, to the Asian Games. The team announced by the Chinese Olympic Association was dominated by newcomers, with three-fourths, 631, due to make their international debut in Jakarta.

17:49 hrs IST

Team introductions

The contingents are here and the first one to march are Afghanistan!

17:46 hrs IST

Boxing Queens

17:42 hrs IST

Dance performance

A dance performance by the Indonesian kids follows the firework display at the venue. In other news, Sydney Olympic bronze winner, Karnam Malleswari wished the Indian contingent luck.

17:35 hrs IST

The time is here!

The opening ceremony is about to begin in Jakarta and the stadium is completely stacked for the event. They begin with a fireworks display and a video of the Prime Minister of Indonesia making his way to the venue.

17:27 hrs IST

Bad news for China

A doping ban will keep China out of weightlifting at the Asian Games. China and eight other countries, including Asian Games participant Kazakhstan, were suspended last October for 12 months. Weightlifting has been under pressure from the IOC to eliminate endemic doping or be banned from the Olympics.

17:19 hrs IST

Gymnastic champion

17:13 hrs IST

Sreejesh’s resolve

The Indian men’s hockey team is high on confidence after a second-place finish in the Champions Trophy and captain PR Sreejesh wants his side to focus on winning a gold medal in the Asian Games 2018. Talking to Hindustan Times, Sreejesh said that ‘It’s all about getting an Olympic ticket’ for the Indian hockey team. Watch the interview here.

17:06 hrs IST

Shooting star

16:55 hrs IST

India’s Kabaddi giants

When it comes to Kabaddi at the Asian Games, there is no bigger power than India. Since the introduction of the men’s category in 1990, they have won the gold on every occasion and a look at the scores in the summit clashes show how dominant they have been over the years. Read full story here.

16:47 hrs IST

Jakarta ready for opening show

Fireworks splashed myriad colours in the skyline on Thursday night as the Indonesian capital completed the final dress rehearsal of the Asian Games opening ceremony. An account by our correspondent in Jakarta. Read here.

16:39 hrs IST

India’s flag-bearer

A look at India’s flag-bearer at the Asian Games 2018 opening ceremony -

16:32 hrs IST

Asian Games 2018

Hello and welcome to the coverage of the Asian Games 2018 opening ceremony in Jakarta. The ceremony will begin on 17:30 IST and the flag-bearer for India will be javelin-thrower Neeraj Chopra.