Wed, 10 Aug 1994

17 more national athletes qualify for 12th Asian Games

JAKARTA (JP): The national sports governing body (KONI) gave the green light for 17 athletes to join the national squad for the 12th Asian Games in Hiroshima yesterday.

KONI executive chairman Soeweno concluded after a meeting with top officials and coaches of three sports bodies at his office yesterday that six lifters, seven karatekas and four sepak takraw players deserve places on the national team due to their commendable performances during recent training sessions.

The athletes include five women's lifters and four women's karatekas.

Yesterday was the second meeting held by KONI to sort out which national athletes will represent the country in the Oct. 2- 16 Asiad. KONI will continue summoning other top officials from various organizations before officially disclosing the events in which Indonesia will take part on Aug. 25.

Yesterday's additions bring the number of athletes who will likely form the backbone of the national team to 40 after KONI agreed to pick 23 athletes from badminton, wind surfing and taekwondo on Monday.

KONI executive chairman who presided over yesterday's meeting with the national weightlifting body (PABBSI), national karate federation (FORKI) and sepak takraw governing body (Persetasi) declined to name the athletes.

"It is the chairman's authority," Soeweno said. "The most important thing is that the three sport organizations have guaranteed that their athletes will collect medals," he added.

Chairman Surono will issue a decree on Sept. 2 which stipulates the lineup of the national team for Asia's biggest sporting festival.

Yesterday's meeting should have included the Indonesian Judo Association (PJSI), but PJSI's top officials failed to attend. KONI adjourned the discussion with PJSI to this weekend.

KONI tentatively plans to send a team of 150 to take part in 15 out of 34 sports to be contested during the Games.

"But due to financial constraints, we expect to curb the number of athletes and pick only those with a great chance of winning medals," said Soeweno. KONI still lacks some Rp 3 billion (US$1.4 million) out of the set budget worth Rp 6.5 billion ($3 million) for the Games.

The governing bodies of both volleyball and gymnastics have bowed out of their Asian Games bids because of KONI's medal- winning standard imposed on all sport organizations.

"Two thumps up for both organizations," Soeweno said. KONI has yet to accept official withdrawals from the national volleyball association (PBVSI) and the national gymnastic association (Persani).

Indonesia is poised to take at least eight golds and hopes to finish sixth at the Games. Fielding 138 athletes, the national team collected four golds, six silvers and 21 bronzes to finish seventh at the 1990 meet in Beijing. (amd)