Asian Games venues ‘95 percent ready’

By: Inquirer.net July 18,2018 - 10:50 PM

ASIAN Games venues will be ready before Indonesia hosts the showpiece event in a month, organizers say, but the threat of terror attacks and endless traffic jams still looms over the regional Olympics.

An army of laborers has been toiling around the clock to finish building work, widen roads and plant trees in a breakneck bid to beautify Jakarta, a teeming metropolis that many visitors find tough to love.

The athletes’ village looks ready, but some competitors may need nose pegs — it backs out onto a toxic, foul-smelling river.

Jakarta and Palembang in Sumatra are set to host about 11,000 athletes and 5,000 officials from 45 Asian countries for the August 18 to September 2 Games, the world’s biggest multi-sport event behind the Olympics.

Apart from a still-unfinished squash complex, most venues appear nearly done.

The Gelora Bung Karno main stadium, used when Indonesia last hosted the Games in 1962, has undergone a major renovation for the 30 trillion rupiah ($2 billion) event.

“I think all the venues, from what I see … 95 percent should be finished by end of July,” chief organizer Erick Thohir, a media tycoon who is chairman of football club Inter Milan, said last week.

Indonesia started with less time than most countries. It agreed to host the Games when Vietnam pulled out, citing concerns over preparations and the heavy financial burden.

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