18 April 2009

Delayed Games allows athletes time to buff up

Indonesian coaches have seized on the postponement of the inaugural Asian Martial Arts Games as a great chance to further hone skills, saying it would allow more time for athletes to undergo fight tryouts.

The games have been rescheduled from April 25-May 3 to June 6-14, in the wake of the political instability in the host city Bangkok, Thailand, where more than 100 people were injured and a handful killed in the past week. The postponement was announced earlier this week after a discussion between Thailand's National Sports Committee and the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA).

"We look at 'the delay' as a positive thing. The postponement of the championship will give us more time to buff up the physical endurance of our athletes," Indonesian Pencak Silat Association (IPSI) deputy chairman Oyong Karmayuda told The Jakarta Post on Thursday.

Coach Indro Catur Haryono said, "The additional time is an ideal period for the athletes to experience some kind of tryout or simulation with other potential fighters."

He has been training the six pencak silat athletes who will compete at the games, at the Padepokan Pencak Silat Hall at the Indonesian Miniature Park (TMII) in East Jakarta.

The six - Pengki Simbar, Ni Nyoman Suparniti and Sofani in the women's division, and Lutfan, Pujo Janoko and Komang Wahyu in the men's division - are expected to reign at the championship as Indonesia looks to grab the most gold medals in the pencak silat event.
Indro said he hoped the tryouts could be performed with either fighters from Vietnam and Malaysia, or other top Indonesian fighters.

"The tryouts are important to maintain the intensity of the exercises they have been performing in the past several weeks," he added.

Madju Dharyanto Hutapea, chief of the martial arts national training camp, said Indonesia would stage an International Martial Arts Friendship Games in Samarinda, East Kalimantan, as a result of the postponement.

Fifteen countries from Southeast Asia and Australia are expected to participate in the May 17-19 event. None of the countries have confirmed yet.

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