Busan, Oct 5 (ANTARA) - As many as 50 pencak silat (traditional Indonesian martial arts) athletes from eight countries participated in an exhibition match held as part of cultural activities during Asian Games 2002 in Busan, South Korea, Saturday.
The athletes came from Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Japan and South Korea.
The exhibition -- held at the Faculty of International Studies, Busan University -- was organized by the International Federation of Pencak Silat (Persilat) to promote the sport for the next Asian Games in 2006 scheduled to be held in Qatar.
President of Persilat, Eddy M. Nalapraya said, silat exhibition matches are expected to serve as a bridge between the federation and the Olympic Committee Asia (OCA).
"The silat exhibition during the Busan Asian Games is aimed to seek support from OCA, regarding to the plan to include pencak silat in the next Asian Games 2006 in Qatar," Eddy, who is also chairman of the Indonesian Pencak Silat Association (IPSI), said.
Persilat was established in 1980 and groups 40 member countries.
But the Indonesian traditional self-defense sport has only been included as international sport event in the Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) 1987 in Jakarta.
Meanwhile, chairman of Asian Games committee, Prof. Kim Soo-il said, the silat exhibition in Busan is expected to open the chance for the event to be competed in Qatar in 2006.
Similarly, a Filipino pencak silat athlete, Angelica Starlight, has expressed hope that silat could be included in the Asian Games.
The second day of the exhibition on Sunday will feature competitions in nine categories, including four duelling and five artistic pencak silat numbers.
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