Ten countries have confirmed that they will not be competing in the 14th Pencak Silat World Championships, which will be held from Sunday to next Friday at Taman Mini Indonesia Indah in Jakarta.
“The 10 countries in absence are Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Kazakhstan, Nepal, Turkey, Yemen, Austria, Italy and Mozambique,” Indonesian Pencak Silat Association (IPSI) secretary Erizal Chaniago said Saturday, as quoted by Antara.
The 10 countries cited various reasons for their withdrawal from the event, but the main reason was insufficient transportation budgets, he said.
Despite the recent confirmation, the event will still feature about 400 fighters from 30 countries, including Indonesia.
Athletes from Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam began arriving in the capital on Friday, Enrico said.
IPSI development chief Tafsil Rimsal said that participants from Vietnam, Singapore and Thailand began training sessions Saturday morning.
As the host country, Indonesia will be represented by 29 athletes at the event. Most members of
the Indonesian team have been training for the world championships and the 2011 Southeast Asian Games.
“The event is a perfect opportunity for our top athletes to sharpen their fighting morale against international fighters,” said Tafsil, adding that he had cautioned the athletes to never underestimate their opponents.
“I’m hoping for the best for Indonesia, becoming overall champions, if possible,” he said.
IPSI chairman Prabowo Subianto acknowledged that despite Indonesia’s hopes of becoming overall champions, their chances could be slimmer than when the event was last hosted here in 2000.
As countries such as Vietnam begin to master the sport, Indonesian fighters have been sliding down the rankings in international competitions. At the 2009 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Laos, Indonesian pencak silat fighters only bagged two gold medals, while Vietnam pocketed six.
Pencak silat has been featured at the SEA Games since 1987.
Sourced from: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2010/12/12/ten-countries-absent-pencak-silat-c%E2%80%99ships.html