JAKARTA, Aug. 18 (Xinhua) -- Indonesia kicked off a one-year countdown clock to the 18th Asian Games 2018 as the country is finalizing preparation for the regional sport event.
The celebrations are taking place in two main host cities, the country's capital and Palembang city of South Sumatra province.
In Jakarta, Indonesian President Joko Widodo opened the celebration, which is taking place in the national park at the heart of the capital city.
Artists from the region and domestic are showing their best performance in the celeration of the countdown along with laser displays.
The 18th Asian Games will be played from August 18 to September 2 of next year.
In Palembang city, the celebration is being held in the Benteng Kuto Besak with performances of artists and several ethnic dances from the archipelagic nation.
Chief of the Committee of the 18th Asian Games 2018 Erick Tohir said that the celebration was expected to show seriousness of the committee in preparing the event and to step up awareness of the Indonesian people as their nation will host the international sport event.
"The celebration will show how serious the organizing committee is in staging a successful and momerable Asian Games next year," he said.
"The countdown will be a campaign event for the people. Indonesia will host the Asian Games," Tohir added.
Over 9,000 athletes from 45 countries and regions will vie in the regional sport event.
Indonesia was awarded the right to host the Games in September 2014, after the withdrawal of origin host Vietnam for economic reasons.
Currently, the Indonesian government has been finalizing preparation of the event, particularly construction of infrastructure facilities.
Several Asian Games tryout matches will be held at the beginning of next year in an effort to ensure the readiness of the facilities and preparation.
Indonesia hopes to rank the 8th place next year with 20 gold medals from 44 events to be competed by its athletes.
In the Asian Games 2014 in South Korea, Indonesia placed the 17th position with four gold medals.