The Olympics is the ultimate global sports event, but the Asian Games sets itself apart from its big brother by retaining a bit of singularity. At the 2018 Jakarta Games, the popular card game, Contract Bridge or Bridge is all set to make its debut. Hailed as the supreme round table mind game, Bridge has its origins in the British Empire during the Crimean war.
This new event will be hotly contested among 217 participating nations, including India and the host nation Indonesia. India has the most number of participants with 25, followed by the host, China and Singapore with 24 each. Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia have the least players with five and four respectively.
There are six categories in which this event is divided – Men’s Pair, Women’s Pair, Men’s Team, Mixed Pairs, Mixed Team and Super Mixed Team.
The game will also feature the oldest Malaysian to feature in the Asian Games. Lee Hung Fong, 81, is set to make her presence in the newly included competition.
The 2018 Asian Games Bridge will take place in the JIExpo Kemayoran Ballroom inside Gelora Bung Karno Main Stadium, Jakarta.
The Contract bridge event will start from 21st August with the Qualification rounds for Men’s Team, Mixed Team and the Super Mixed Team. The semi-finals and finals for these categories would be held on 26th and 27th August respectively.
The qualification games for Men’s Pair, Women’s Pair and Mixed Pair would begin from 28th August, with the semifinals taking place on 30th and 31st of the same month.
2018 Asian Games Bridge Participants
Malaysia’s Lee Hung Fong has attracted headlines as the oldest participant at 81. The Indian contingent is represented by a variety of players- ranging from railway employees, MD of Schmolz + Bickenbach, IITians and the country’s premier art collector.
It might look like an odd collection, but with India’s richness in the game, and the sharp wit possessed by the participants, the country might add several medals to their tally through this sport.