With one month to go, Indonesia is getting ready to host this year’s mega sporting event, the 26th Southeast Asian Games – or SEA Games – which will be held in two host cities: Palembang, capital of South Sumatra, and Jakarta, through 11 consecutive days, from November 11 to 22, 2011. This also marks the fourth time that Indonesia hosts the games after the SEA Games X in 1979, SEA Games XV in 1987, and SEA Games XIX in 1997.
Palembang was the seat of the once powerful Srivijaya kingdom, which reigned supreme over the Sumatra seas from the 9th through the 11th centuries.
As the main host, the city of Palembang will concentrate holding the games at the Jakabaring Sports Complex, which covers a total area of 45,000 square meters and will be the second largest sports complex in the country at international standard, with its main stadium seating 40,000 spectators.
In Jakarta, competition venues will be centered at the historic Gelora Bung Karno (GBK) Sports Complex. The iconic main Stadium of GBK Sport Complex is Indonesia’s largest and oldest stadium, which was also the venue for previous SEA Games and is located right in the heart of Jakarta. The main stadium has a seating capacity for over 80,000 spectators.
The SEA Games Organizing Committee (INASOC) has promised that the staging of this year’s 26th SEA Games will be unforgettable. Scheduled to take place along the banks of the wide Musi River by the historic Kuto Besak Fortress, the opening ceremony on November 11, 2011, on the auspicious date of 11/11/11, will be highlighted by some of the most spectacular shows the country has ever seen, as will be the closing ceremony.
The Southeast Asian Games or SEA Games, are a biennial multi-sports event involving participants from the current 11 countries of Southeast Asia. These are: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, and Timor Leste. The series of sporting events comes under the rules of the Southeast Asian Games Federation and is supervised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Olympic Council of Asia.
The Southeast Asian Games owes its origins to the Southeast Asian Peninsular Games or SEAP Games. On May 22, 1958, delegates from countries in the Southeast Asian peninsula attending the 3rd Asian Games in Tokyo, Japan, convened a meeting and agreed to establish a sports organization. Thailand, Burma (now Myanmar), Malaya (now Malaysia and Singapore), Laos, South Vietnam ,and Cambodia were its founding members. These countries agreed to hold the games bi-annually. The SEAP Games Federation Committee was then formed. The first SEAP Games were held in Bangkok from December 12-17, 1959, comprising more than 527 athletes and officials from Thailand, Burma, Malaya (now Malaysia and Singapore), South Vietnam, and Laos participating in 12 sports.
The 26th SEA Games this year will award 542 gold medals to be competed through 44 sports. Palembang will be the main host of the games, organizing a total of 296 events, while the nation’s capital, Jakarta, as supporting co-host will stage2 66 events. As the main host, the city of Palembang will only stage 21 of the total 44 sports, while the remainder will be held in Jakarta.
For detailed information, visit the official website of the 26th SEA Games: http://www.seag2011.com/ .
For detailed information on Palembang, attractions and hotels please visit: Palembang on the Musi River, and to find information on Jakarta, venues, and hotels, please click Jakarta Exhibitions and Performance Venues and Jakarta Hotels with Convention Facilities.