President to Open Asian Beach Games

LEGIAN ~ President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is scheduled to officially open the Asian Beach Games on October 18, the first Olympic-sanctioned event of its kind and being held in Bali.

The National Sports Committee said the plan was conveyed by Games chairperson Rita Subowo during a meeting with Bali Governor I Made Mangku Pastika in Sanur at the weekend.

“The president has received us twice and the latest was during a cabinet meeting. The president is scheduled to open the event, and the vice president will close it on October 26,” Subowo said.

With 17 sports events in the event, at least 45 countries with around 3,000 athletes have confirmed their participation. In total, some 10,000 people are expected in Bali for the sporting spectacle, including officials, media and guests, making it one of the biggest events to be held here and an occasion to rival the UN climate change conference in Nusa Dua last December.

The events include beach football, beach volleyball, jetskiing and takraw, a curious discipline that resembles volleyball but feet are used instead of the hands.

“We have also obtained assurance about the presence of British and Qatari royal families and a number of sports ministers and the Beijing Olympic Committee chairman, as well as President of the International Olympic Committee Jacques Rogge, during ceremony,” Subowo said.

Governor Pastika said, meanwhile, that he would coordinate security for the mega-event with all relevant agencies on the island.

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