07 April 2009

Indonesian pencak silat fighters looking to top medal tally

Indonesia hopes to seize the most gold medals from the country's own sport of pencak silat at the upcoming inaugural Martial Arts Games in Bangkok, Thailand.

"We have great potential to win the most medals in pencak silat," national training camp head Madju Daryanto Hutapea said Monday.

Indonesia's pencak silat team comprises three men's and three women's fighters, and Madju sees a clean sweep of gold as possible.

"Why not? Indonesia is the sport's country of origin," he said.

Indonesia's female fighters are Pengki Simbar, Ni Nyoman Suparniti and Sofani, while the men's squad includes Lutfan, Pujo Janoko and Komang Wahyu.

"However, we have to be very careful about the Vietnamese. They have good pencak silat fighters too," Madju said.

The Asian Martial Arts Games feature nine sports - karate, taekwondo, muay Thai, kickboxing, jiujitsu, judo, kurash, wushu and pencak silat.

Indonesia will take part in only five sports. Last week's national selection saw 35 fighters picked - seven karatekas, six pencak silat fighters, eight judokas, eight taekwondoins and six wushu fighters.

The games will run from April 25 to May 3, with participants from 43 Asian countries.
Indonesia is also pinning its medal hopes on Basuki Nugroho (taekwondo), Krisna Bayu and Yohanes Taslim (judo), as well as Donny Darmawan and Hendro Salim (karate).

Madju said they were expecting tough opposition from Korea, Iran, Japan, China and Kazakhstan.

He added he would not put too much pressure on the wushu fighters to win medals.
"Compared with the others, we are still lagging in producing quality wushu fighters," he said.

The National Sports Council (KONI) is expected to officially unveil the Indonesian contingent at a ceremony to be held at the Sempaja national training camp on April 16.

The contingent will depart for Thailand on April 22. Also going with the team are 10 referees with international licenses.

Written by Agnes Winarti
Sourced from

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