Thu, 11 Aug 1994

KONI gives nod to twelve more athletes in Asiad

JAKARTA (JP): The selection process for national athletes who will compete in October's Asian Games in Hiroshima continued yesterday with the national sports governing body (KONI) reserving 12 more places for athletes in three events.

KONI yesterday endorsed seven men's runners, two men's cyclists and three riders to form the backbone of the national squad for the Games during a four-hour meeting with training directors of the Indonesian Track and Field Association (PASI), the National Cycling Sport Association (ISSI) and the All- Indonesian Equestrian Association (Pordasi).

Top officials of the Indonesian Swimming Federation (PRSI) were slated to attend the meeting, but adjourned the consultation to this weekend pending the arrival of 11 national swimmers who recently completed almost two months of overseas training in the United States.

PASI training director Sediono Rijanto said after the closed- door meeting that KONI, represented by executive chairman Soeweno and training director Arnold Lisapaly, recommended five athletes for the relay events and two marathon men.

The men's relay team will consist of Mardi Lestari, Mohammad Khodik Juntasi, Ernawan Witarsa and Subakir, with Erwin Heru in reserve. Indonesia will bank on Eduardus Nabunome and Suyono in the marathon.

"A change in the number is possible. It will depend on our athletes' performances during the Singapore Open track and field meet early next month," Sediono said. He, however, refused to clarify whether the change would mean an increase or a drop.

Mardi was once Asia's fastest man when he ran 10.24secs at the 1987 National Games to tie the Asian record. He completed a golden hat-trick at last year's Southeast Asian Games, but has never equaled his Asian feat.

Meanwhile, ISSI training director Denny Gumulya revealed that KONI gave a nod to two of the four cycling events he had proposed.

The events include the sprint and 1,000-meter Individual Time Trial (ITT). ISSI had previously offered the women's 3,000-meter ITT and men's Point Race as well.

Denny declined to identify the cyclists, but indicated that those who performed well during the Asian championships in Ipoh, Malaysia last December deserve the slots. Suwandra and Kalimanto took bronzes in the 1,000m ITT and sprint, respectively, at the cycling meet.

ISSI has been grooming 14 pedalists, two of them women, since last November. The cycling lineup will be finalized after the final test in Rawamangun on Aug. 20.

None of Pordasi's officials was willing to comment to the waiting journalists yesterday.

Japan's golds

Meanwhile, host Japan will shoot for 70 gold medals at the Games, the head of the Japanese delegation announced Tuesday.

"If Japan is able to win 70 golds, the outcome will be called a success for us," Yasutaka Matsudaira was quoted by Kyodo news agency as saying.

"With 70 golds Japan will have a close competition with top nation China after surpassing South Korea," Matsudaira said. "We announce this number now after closely analyzing the conditions of various nations and abilities of athletes."

Last fall, Japan announced a goal of 119 golds after adding up targets set by all sports bodies, but the country decided to revise the figure to a more "realistic one."

Japan yielded first place to China for the first time at the 1982 New Delhi Games. Beginning with the 1986 Seoul Games, Japan has occupied the third spot behind South Korea.

At the 1990 Beijing Games, China won 183 golds, South Korea 54 and Japan 38.

The Hiroshima Asiad will feature 337 medal events in 34 sports, compared to 308 medal events in 27 sports in Beijing. (amd)