Brunei contingent attend Asian Games opening ceremony

|     Fadhil Yunus     |

BRUNEI Darussalam athletes and officials were all smiles and filled with unbridled joy as they took part in the traditional Parade of Nations during the opening ceremony of the 18th Asian Games (Asiad) at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta last night.

Brunei Darussalam rising wushu star Basma Lachkar was given the honour to be the country’s flag-bearer.

The Brunei Darussalam contingent comprises 31 people including 15 athletes and 16 officials led by Umi Kalthum binti Haji Abdul Karim as the Chef de Mission.

The country will be taking part in seven sports namely wushu, pencak silat, equestrian, athletics, golf, weightlifting and karate.

With the wushu competition starting today, the first batch of wushu athletes was among the first to leave for Indonesia.

More athletes are expected to leave for the Indonesian capital in the coming days. Athletes taking part in athletics, karate and pencak silat will leave tomorrow.

The inaugural ceremony attended by the Indonesian President Joko Widodo showcased colourful scenes portraying the hosts’ proud culture and tradition.

“On behalf of the Indonesian people, we are proud and we are honoured to welcome our special guests from 45 countries. With the 18th Asian Games, we, the nations of Asia, want to show (the world) that we are brothers, we are united and we want to reach our goals,” said the President.

This year’s edition of the Asiad carries the theme ‘Energy of Asia’.

Brunei delegation march in the ‘Parade of Nation’ during the opening ceremony of the 18th Asian Games at the Gelora Bung Karno main stadium in Jakarta
Fireworks light up the evening sky over the Gelora Bung Karno main stadium. – PHOTOS: AFP & AP