Indonesia targets top-ten place in Asian Games

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia, host of the 18th Asian Games 2018, has set a target to secure a top ten place in the mega sporting event, which will be held in Jakarta and Palembang, South Sumatra, next year.

Indonesia will target to become one of the top ten in the 18th Asian Games 2018, which will be held from Aug 18 to Sept 2, 2018, although Indonesias achievement in the Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) in Malaysia last August was below expectation.

"We have to stick to our target. We want to secure a place in the top ten of the Asian Games. We have to make sure of it and accelerate the exercises. Athletes should be sent abroad (for tryouts)," Jusuf Kalla, the chairman of the 18th Asian Games 2018 Steering Committee, who is also the Indonesian Vice President, said last month (Oct 25).

The organizers do not want to make inadequate preparations, which could result in low achievement, such as the achievement of Indonesian athletes in the SEA Games last August.

After all, the 18th Asian Games 2018 will serve as a bridge for Indonesian athletes to step forward for the Olympic Games in Japan in 2020.

"No one can guarantee that we can achieve the target, but to achieve it, we should ascertain that our achievement will be better than the one in the previous 17th Asian Games 2014 in Incheon, South Korea," Kalla said.

Indonesia was ranked 17th on the medals tally in the 17th Asian Games 2014 among 37 participating countries in Incheon with four gold medals, five silver and 11 bronze medals. China, which has been the overall champion for nine times in a row since the 9th Asian Games in 1982, was on the top of the list with 151 gold, 108 silver and 83 bronze medals.

It will be the second time that Indonesia is hosting the Asian Games next year. Indonesia hosted the Asian sporting events for the first time in 1962, the fourth one after the Asian Games were first organized in New Delhi, India, in 1951.

During the 4th Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia as the host, was the runner-up with 21 gold medals, 26 silver and 30 bronze medals, behind Japan who was the overall champion with 73 gold, 65 silver and 23 bronze medals.

Indonesia, which has now taken over the task of hosting the 18th event from Hanoi, Vietnam, as the latter has delegated the responsibility to it due to financial reasons, will do its best to make the games a successful international event and has called for the publics support.

Seeing the achievement of Indonesia in the past, it is not impossible that it could achieve its target of being among the top ten nations. Now, that it has still nine months remaining, Indonesia can train potential athletes and in potential sport branches.

Tono Suratman, Chairman of the Indonesian National Sports Committee (KONI), is convinced that Indonesia could achieve the top ten level in the Asian Games 2018, although the Indonesia Gold Program Executing Task Force (Satlak Prima) has been disbanded.

The aim of the Satlak Prima, which was disbanded to shorten the bureaucratic line in the sports development, is to prepare athletes in the face of international events. The Satlak Prima, however, was dissolved by President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) on October 18. Its function was taken over by KONI.

KONI chairman Suratman, as quoted by CNN recently, stressed that he hoped the Satlak Prima programs that have been planned previously would be implemented well by KONI.

"The government has demanded that Indonesia achieve its target of a top-ten position. In the coming 10 months, we will work hard and hope it will be achieved," Suratman was quoted by CNN as saying.

The Satlak Prima stated in September that there were at least 15 sports branches which were potential disciplines for Indonesia to grab gold medals in the 18th Asian Games 2018. Then Satlak Prima chairman Achmad Soetjipto mentioned that the data on the potential sports events would not discourage Indonesia to achieve its place in the top ten.

The 15 sports branches are archery (one gold), badminton (2 gold), athletics (one gold), bowling (one gold), bridge (two golds), rowing (one gold), cycling (two golds), jetskii (two golds), karate (one gold), paragliding (one gold), martial arts (two golds), sport climbing (one gold), taekwondo (one gold), weightlifting (one gold) and wushu (one gold), he revealed.

However, KONI has shortlisted the 16 sports branches that would be given priority in the next Asian Games.

"We have seen 16 branches. However, we will still see more. It will be good if the number of potential branches is bigger," KONI Deputy Chairman Suwarno was quoted as saying by Indosport online recently (Oct 24)

However, Suwarno was reluctant to reveal the sports branches that had the potential to produce medals in the Asian Games 2018. The 18th Asian Games will hold competitions in 40 sports branches.

Source: ANTARA News

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