Jakarta, July 17 (IANS) The Asian Games torch arrived in Indonesia’s Yogyakarta airport on Tuesday after being flown by Indonesian Air Force Boeing 737 400 plane from India, the first Asian nation to host the Asiad in 1951.
The Asiad flame would stay in Yogyakarta until Wednesday where it would be merged with flame of fire from Indonesia’s eternal flame source of Mrapen, Purwodadi Central Java in an official ceremony presided over by Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla, reports Xinhua news agency.
Indonesia’s badminton gold medalist in 1992 Olympics Susi Susanti, who picked up the Asiad torch from India’s Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium in New Delhi, said the process to take the Asiad flame in India went smoothly.
“There was a little problem when it was about to be transported to Indonesia. But it all has been solved accordingly,” Susi said in Yogyakarta shortly after the plane landed in the city.
She assured that the Asiad flame from India was not extinguished during the flights as it represents the spirits of togetherness and friendship.
The arrival of the Asiad torch was welcomed with mix of Indonesian traditional and cultural performances, including the performance of ethnic Chinese’s lion dance.
After the ceremony to merge the flames from India and Indonesia held in the compound of ancient temple Prambanan near Yogyakarta, the Asian Games torch would begin its rally from Yogyakarta on Thursday.
The Asiad torch was expected to arrive in Jakarta on August 15, waiting for the opening of 18th Asian Games themed “Energy of Asia” three days later.