"We are proud that Blitar City is among the 54 districts in Indonesia to be covered in the torch relay of the Asian Games 2018," Deputy Mayor of Blitar Santoso stated at the Bung Karno Tomb, Blitar, Friday.
The torch arrived at the Tomb of Bung Karno at 1:08 p.m. local time, escorted by a group led directly by Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture of Indonesia Puan Maharani and Chairman of the Organizing Committee of Asian Games 2018 (INASGOC) Erick Thohir. Prior to Blitar, the torch first landed at the Abdul Rachman Saleh Airport, Malang Regency, at around 9:50 a.m. Western Indonesian Time.
The group, part of the torch relay of the 2018 Asian Games, was greeted by Blitar City's government officials and Deputy Head of Blitar Santoso and Blitar District Head Rijanto. Also present were police officers and the National Sports Committee of Indonesia of Blitar City and District.
The event was enlivened by a Jimbe musical art performance by 30 artists from the Anoraga Percussion group and some Blitar students, who had lined up while hoisting the Red and White Flag with both hands.
A special procession was held to bring the torch to the Tomb of Bung Karno. Initially, the 2018 Asian Games torch was carried by INASGOC some 100 meters before entering the tomb gate.
The torch was thereafter handed over to Ling Ling Agustin, the Indonesian table tennis athlete, who had performed at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, Spain.
Agustin thereafter handed over the torch to Minister Maharani for the next run covering other areas in Indonesia.
The torch will then be brought to Malang to be taken around the city and then to the top of Mount Bromo and thereafter carried to Probolinggo, East Java.
The Tomb of Bung Karno in Blitar City was selected as a stopover for the torch flame of the Asian Games 2018, as the first president of Indonesia, was viewed as a key figure in the successful implementation of the inaugural Asian Games in Indonesia in 1962.
Bung Karno was involved from the start until the completion of the Asian Games. For the success of the Asian Games during that time, Sukarno had also initiated the establishment of a sports complex in Senayan, which then became known as the Gelora Bung Karno Area.
For the fourth edition of the Asian Games, the first television station in Indonesia was established, called Television of the Republik Indonesia, which first aired nationwide on August 24, 1962, broadcasting the opening of the 1962 Asian Games.(*)