The 18th Asian Games came to close in Indonesia Sunday with a glittering ceremony emphasizing the country’s diversity and the ties linking the 11,000 athletes who competed for 45 nations.
Indonesia, which agreed four years ago to hold the Asian Games after Vietnam backed out for financial reasons, is riding high on the success of the games.
Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, who is running for re-election next year, has already announced plans to bid to host the 2032 Olympics.
China, Japan and South Korea topped the medal count, and host Indonesia had its best Asian Games, finishing fourth.
China took home 289 medals, including 132 golds. Japan trailed with 205 total medals and 75 golds. South Korea went home with 177 medals, including 49 golds, and Indonesian athletes won 98 medals, including 31 golds.
The star of the games was Japanese swimmer Rikako Ikee, who won eight medals overall, including six gold. She will be among the most watched athletes as Japan prepares for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
One of Indonesia’s richest men, billionaire Michael Bambang Hartono, was the oldest medalist at 78, in the card game bridge.
He is 66 years older than 12-year-old Indonesian skateboarder Bunga Nyimas, whose bronze medal in the street event made her the youngest athlete to medal.
The next Asian Games will be held in in Hangzhou, China, in 2022.