Asian Games torch relay kicks off in Yogyakarta

YOGYAKARTA, Indonesia (The Jakarta Post/ANN) - The 2018 Asian Games torch relay began with Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi becomes the first torch bearer.

Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi became the first torch bearer in the 18th Asian Games torch relay in Yogyakarta on Thursday.

Yogyakarta was the first of 54 cities the torch will visit in the cross-country relay, which will end on Aug. 15 in Jakarta.

Yogyakarta Governor Sri Sultan Hamengku Buwono X handed the torch to Retno at Yogyakarta Palace before she ran carrying the torch for 100 meters.

“This is a proud moment for us Indonesians,” said Retno.

“We will do our best as host to honor the Asian countries that have given us their trust,” she said, adding that the Games would have a significant impact on Indonesia’s foreign politics.

The Yogyakarta leg of the relay was opened with a traditional dance performance entitled “Krido Jati Suoro” at the palace. Locals gave a warm reception to the event, with school children cheering on the runners from the sidewalks.

The torch was carried 11 kilometers, ending at the Yogyakarta Monument, also known as Tugu Yogya.

Yogyakarta Police chief Brig. Gen. Ahmad Dofiri and chief of the Adisucipto Air Force Base First Marshall Tedi Rizalihadi were among the torch bearers.

The next city to host the relay will be Surakarta, Central Java.