Fri, 26 Aug 1994

KONI enlarges team for Asian Games

JAKARTA (JP): The national sports governing body has decided to enlarge the national squad for the 12th Asian Games in Hiroshima this October.

KONI chairman Surono said yesterday a total of 197 sportsmen and women from 23 events qualify for the Games, following a series of meetings with all 26 sport organizations completed yesterday.

"Based on reports addressed by officials of the sport federations during the consultative meetings, we found a swollen contingent is okay," said restless looking Surono who repeatedly asked for brief questions to the crowding journalists. The chairman said he was awaited in another meeting.

He refused to go into detail, saying later yesterday that he was about to sign the decree on the national team line-up for the Games. KONI is scheduled to officially announce the line-up today.

The three-week consultative meetings also concluded that Indonesia will miss soccer, gymnastic and volleyball competitions, as well as others. The Oct. 2-16 sporting festival will feature 34 events, with 337 gold medals up for grabs.

The 23 sports Indonesia will compete in comprise of badminton, tennis, table tennis, soft tennis, fencing, track and field, sepak takraw, wind surfing, archery, karate, judo, taekwondo, wushu, boxing, shooting, equestrian, golf, swimming, bowling, weight lifting, wrestling, cycling, and rowing.

"Performance is the only standard we use in picking the athletes," Surono said. He denied speculations that a bigger team would need a greater amount of funds.


"The set budget of Rp 3 billion (US$1.38 million) will be enough to finance the daily expenses of our contingent during the competitions," said Surono. "Don't worry, there will be no increasing in the budget," he added.

KONI's vice chairman Soesilo Soedarman received five checks worth Rp 1.6 billion ($738,000) from a group of businessmen two weeks ago and promised to collect more funds.

"We have no alternatives for the fund rising program but waiting for helping hands from businessmen," Surono said.

Surono had revealed earlier that the national contingent would include only between 120 and 150 athletes for 16 events due to the financial deficit suffered by KONI following a ban over the controversial lottery SDSB last year.

Indonesia was powered by 138 athletes from 12 events in the last Games in Beijing four years ago. The national team managed three golds, six silvers and 21 bronzes for the seventh place.

The country has bid to finish sixth this year, despite the strong challenge of five new entrants from former Soviet Union republics.

The national squad, led by KONI executive chairman Soeweno, is slated to leave for Hiroshima on Sept. 25. (amd)