Curtains come down on Asian Games carnival

Asian Games
Artists perform during the closing ceremony of 18th Asian Games at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta on Sunday. Reuters

Jakarta: After more than two weeks of exciting action, the 18th Asian Games drew to a close with a colourful ceremony at the Gelora Bung Karno (GBK) Stadium here on Sunday.

There was a steady spell of drizzle at the start of the ceremony as the athletes marched on, with many wearing rain coats, but that did little to douse their spirit. Next up were the volunteers who made an enthusiastic entry into the gigantic GBK.

Asian Games
There was a steady spell of drizzle at the start of the closing ceremony as the athletes marched on, many wearing rain coats. Photo: Reuters

Indonesian singer and lyricist Isyana Sarasvati performed a number with vignettes from this edition of the Games being played in the background.

Indonesian president Joko Widodo congratulated the entire country for the energy and unity shown in successfully staging the mega event in his video message.

Indonesian vice-president Muhammad Jusuf Kalla welcomed the gathering, which included International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach, Olympic Council of Asia president Sheikh Ahmed Al-Fahad Al-Sabah and Indonesian Asian Games Organising Committee president Erick Thohir.

A singer performs in the rain ahead of the closing ceremony of the 18th Asian Games in Jakarta on Sunday. Photo: AP via PTI

Al-Sabha was all praise for the organizing committee and the people of Indonesia before declaring the Games closed.

It was the first time the Games were held in two cities - Indonesian capital Jakarta and Palembang.

Honour for Rikako Ikee

Japanese teen sensation Rikako Ikee, who won six gold medals and two sliver medals in swimming, was adjudged the 'Most Valuable Player of the Games'.

The Chinese city of Hangzhou will host the next edition in 2022. After a promotional video and a dance performance by the Chinese artistes, the spectators were in for a treat of dance and musical programmes.

Asian Games
Chinese artists performed after a promotional video of 19th Asian Games, which will be held in Hangzhou in 2022. Photo: Reuters

Home pop rock band Gigi was the first to perform followed by Indian singer Siddharth Slathia who rocked with a couple of hit numbers Ko Mil Gaya... and Kuch Kuch Hota Hai... from Shah Rukh Khan's 1998 blockbuster of the same name. Next up was A R Rahman's Oscar-winning number Jai Ho... from the Hollywood film Slumdog Millionaire.

The crowd went into a frenzy as South Korean pop band iKon appeared on the stage followed by Indonesian singer Siti Badriah. Home pop band Ran, rapper JFlow, jazz singer Dira Sungandi, and band Super Junior all joined in the fun and brought the crowd to their feet. Home pop star Afgan appeared on the stage with other performers in the final act even as fireworks lit up the night sky.

Asian Games
The dance and musical performances were followed by a grand firework that illuminated the night sky of Jakarta. Photo: Reuters

The official music album of the Games was titled 'Energy of Asia' and there was no dearth of it on display at the closing ceremony.

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