Rita Subowo thinks Indonesia will get behind the Asian Games ©OCA

Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) vice president Rita Subowo believes that the Indonesian people are ready to support their home Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang this year.

Subowo was speaking after OCA Asian Games Fun Run events attracted 5,000 runners in Jakarta and 2,000 in Palembang.

She said that a "festival atmosphere" at both events meant a successful Asian Games was likely from August 18 to September 2.

"Through this Fun Run you can see the awareness of the Jakarta people of the Asian Games," she said in the capital city.

"We had a maximum limit of 5,000 runners here in Jakarta but I think 7,000 people were involved in some way in the Fun Run, as runners, sponsors, media and supporters.

"This awareness of the Asian Games will bring the people to support the Asian countries who are taking part and to see the Asian Games in their own country."

Indonesian President Joko Widodo has asked all of the country's provinces to back the event, which will be held in the country for the second time and the first since Jakarta hosted them in 1962.

"We are hoping that people from all over Indonesia will come to watch the Games, not just the people of Jakarta and Palembang," added Subowo, a former President of the Indonesian Olympic Committee and an ex-International Olympic Committee member.

"We feel it will be good for the economy and good for domestic tourism with people coming from the provinces.

"It will be a repeat of the last time we hosted the Asian Games in 1962, full of nostalgia, emotion and passion. 

Runners set off in Jakarta ©OCA
Runners set off in Jakarta ©OCA

"We have a chance again to organise the Asian Games and we will be using most of the same venues and places from 1962, so it is good for our Games."

The OCA has held Fun Runs in various countries across Asia to raise awareness of their flagship event.

Participants receive souvenir t-shirts, certificates and medals.

The Jakarta run was started by Puan Maharani, Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Cultural Affairs and the granddaughter of the country's first President, Sukarno.

In Palembang, the Governor of South Sumatra Alex Noerdin opened proceedings.

"I am very happy to see so many people supporting the Asian Games Fun Run for Indonesia, with 5,000 here in Jakarta and another 2,000 in Palembang," said Maharani.

"This is a good sign as we prepare for the Opening Ceremony on August 18. 

"I am optimistic that the Indonesian people will support the Asian Games. 

"I am looking forward to attending the Games and watching as many sports as I can."

Ten thousand athletes from 45 National Olympic Committees will compete at the Asian Games.

Forty sports, 67 disciplines and 463 events are scheduled in all.