Asian Games 2018: Indonesia's richest man Michael Bambang Hartono to participate at 78 (Photo: Twitter)
Billionaire business tycoon Michael Bambang Hartono at 78-year of age may not be the oldest participant at the upcoming Asian Games 2018, but he is definitely the richest. Head of a cigarette giant Djarum Group, Hartono is all set to host Indonesia on its bridge team at the Asian Games 2018, which is scheduled to go live on Saturday, August 18, 2018 i,n Jakarta and co-host Palembang.
Lee Hung Fong – the 81-year-old Malaysian Bridge player – narrowly defeated Hartono for being the oldest participant in the Asian games. Hung Fond is seven decades older than skateboarder Aliqqa Novvery Kayyisa, who is the youngest participant at nine-year-old.
However, Hartono has been named Indonesia’s richest man by Forbes magazine alongside his brother Robert. The coveted magazine ranked him as the 75th wealthiest man in the world.
From his interests in tobacco, banking and communication, Hartono has an estimated net worth of $16.7 billion.
"I play bridge to keep my memory sharp. My other hobby is tai chi, which helps me stay focused," he told domestic news agency Antara.
Hartono, who started playing bridge at age six played a crucial role to convince Olympic Council of Asia to give the card game a top spot at the Asian Games.
"At first, the OCA declined to include bridge, as it appears to resemble gambling," he told Antara.
Hartono has also promised to donate the 1.5 billion rupiah ($102,000) prize money to the athletes training program.
"If I managed to win gold, I would donate the government's cash prize to the athletes training program," he said.
Indonesia is hosting around 11,000 athletes and 5,000 officials from 45 Asian countries in Asian Games that will take place from August 18 to September 2.