Fri, 30 Jun 2000

Jakarta surrenders PON title to E. Java for the first time

By Ivy Susanti

SURABAYA (JP): East Java secured the overall champion title of the 15th National Games (PON) for the first time in history by collecting 130 golds, 105 silvers and 113 bronzes.

Defending champion Jakarta was runner-up after earning 114 golds, 83 silvers and 92 bronzes.

Ironically, Jakarta earned its first overall champion title and lost it for the first time in Surabaya. In the 1969 PON here, Jakarta took the title from West Java with 101 golds, 69 silvers and 40 bronzes and now it had to surrender it to the host.

West Java, on the other hand, has not been successful in reaching the top. It stays in third position with 79 golds, 88 silvers and 104 bronzes.

State Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Mahadi Sinambela expressed satisfaction over PON's results and its arrangement. But he called on the authorities to avoid using PON for its own political agenda.

"I hope the overall champion title will not be used in the campaign to elect the governor. Let's be fair. During the administration of former president Soeharto, any minor achievement in the national sports event was used to seek appraisal from the central government," he announced on Thursday.

Mahadi expressed concern over the fact that the achievement of the 26 participating provinces' was unequal.

"I'm rather disappointed to see that West Sumatra is facing a setback. As far as I know, it used to be Bengkulu who always finished at the bottom. If the quality of sports in all provinces is equal, they must share more or less the same amount of medals," he said.

He also wished that PON could be staged outside Jakarta in the future.

"We have to decentralize such a major event to all provinces to boost their sports development and to give them a feeling as being part of Indonesia."

"I don't want any province to feel excluded because all the events are staged in Jakarta. And then they try to raise their own flag," he said, referring to recent calls from the Irianese to gain independence from Indonesia.

Three more track events are to be staged at the closing ceremony on Friday -- the finals of the 1,500m run, men's 4x400m relay and women's 4x400m relay. President Abdurrahman Wahid is scheduled to close the quadrennial event in the evening.

H.M. Rawi, the director of PT Lasindo Multimedia 2000, said earlier that tickets for the closing ceremony were limited to only 11,000 for security reasons.

At the track and field final on Thursday, Ni Putu Dessy Margawati of West Nusa Tenggara cleared 3.65m to win the gold and break her previous national record of 3.50m in the women's pole vault. Alia Basalamah of Jakarta won a silver after she jumped 3.30m and teammate Emrina was next after she jumped 3.10m.

East Java was the real champion by winning the most prestigious gold medal in soccer by defeating West Java 1-0. North Sumatra won the bronze after defeating Jakarta 1-0.

Medal Tally (as of 9:30 p.m.)
 Provinces           Gold    Silver   Bronze
 East Java            130      105      113
 Jakarta              114       83       92
 West Java             79       88      104
 Central Java          41       61       65
 Lampung               20       22       26
 Jambi                 19        9       13
 Papua                 17       19       23
 East Kalimantan       14       11       17
 North Sumatra         14       10       18
 South Sulawesi        12       13       18
 North Sulawesi        11       15       17
 South Kalimantan      11        8       10
 Bali                  10       10       15
 South Sumatra          8       14       16
 Southeast Sulawesi     8        5       13
 Yogyakarta             6       12       25
 Maluku                 6        3        6
 Riau                   5        9       15
 West Kalimantan        4        8        7
 East Nusa Tenggara     4        6        8
 Central Kalimantan     3       11       18
 West Nusa Tenggara     3        6        7
 Central Sulawesi       2        1        3
 Bengkulu               1        3        5
 Aceh                   1        1       13
 West Sumatra           -        4        6
 Total                543      537      673