Indonesia Passes Hosting Test

(ATR) The country handled the Asian Para Games while dealing with a natural disaster.

(ATR) One day after the III Asian Para Games in Jakarta wrapped up, the annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB) ended in Bali.

It brought an end to a busy few weeks for Indonesia, beginning with the Asian Games in August.

"It shows the world that Indonesia can be on the same level as them when organizing similar events," said the Indonesian international relations expert, Hikmahanto Juwana.

The experience could help Indonesia in hosting even larger sporting events in the future. The president of Indonesia, Joko Widodo, recently revealed that his country will bid to host the 2032 Olympic Games.

Organizers estimate that more than 430,000 spectators attended the Asian Para Games.

The Indonesian government faced the challenge of holding these regional games featuring 43 countries while facing the process of recovery from an earthquake and tsunami that killed more than 2,000 people in Sulawesi, about 2,000 km (1,200 miles) from Jakarta.

The Indonesian contingent ended in a best ever fifth place in the final medal standings at the event. Indonesia collected a total of 135 medals with 37 of them gold, 47 silver and 51 bronze.

China was the overall champion and firmly at the top of the standings with a total of 319 medals, including 172 gold. South Korea was second with 145 medals, 53 of them gold. Iran finished third and Japan fourth, just ahead of the host country.

In the closing ceremony held at the Madya Stadium in the Bung Karno Sports Complex, Asian Paralympic Committee President Majid Rashed said that Indonesia had held the best Asian Para Games in history.

During the competition, numerous records were established. Bhutan participated for the first time. Laos and East Timor each won a first medal. The Philippines and Kuwait each earned a first gold medal.

North Korea and South Korea joined forces for the first time in their para sports history, fielding joint teams inthe men's table tennis team competition and the men's freestyle relay and mixed relay swimming events.A Unified Korea marched together as they had done at the 2018 Asian Games in August and the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea in February.

Reported by Miguel Hernandez.