Wed, 19 Apr 2000

La Paene, Ballo to go to Cuba for training

JAKARTA (JP): The Indonesian Amateur Boxing Association (Pertina) will send two boxers who have qualified for the Olympic Games to Cuba early next month.

Pertina deputy secretary-general Didiet Soedijoto said on Tuesday the boxers, light flyweight La Paene Masara and flyweight Hermensen Ballo, would be accompanied by Indonesian coach Frans Bebe and Cuban coach Carlos Penate Torres.

"In today's meeting, chaired by deputy executive director Ignatius Mulyono, Pak Frans suggested Pertina allow Carlos to accompany him during the stay in Cuba.

"Our original plan was not to include Torres on the team (traveling to Cuba) because he is in charge of our junior development. But Pak Frans wants him to join the team because they wouldn't feel comfortable being accompanied by strangers," Didiet said.

Didiet said by sending La Paene and Ballo to Cuba for training, Pertina hoped its boxers would reach the semifinals of the Olympics, a hope also expressed by National Sports Council chairman Wismoyo Arismunandar.

"At the 1996 Olympics, La Paene managed to reach the quarterfinals while Ballo only got into the top 16. Hopefully this year they can reach the semifinals," Didiet said.

Both boxers qualified for the Sydney Olympics, to be held in September, during the third qualifying round in Bangkok early this month. The two are scheduled to compete in the Pedro Soto Alba and the Cordoba Cardin tournaments in July during their stay in Cuba.

Didiet said the decision to send Torres, a sports science expert in boxing, to Cuba along with the boxers would be confirmed by Pertina chairman Sang Nyoman Suwisma on Tuesday evening.

Didiet said Torres would set the training program for the association's junior boxers, and his assistants Ronny Sigaraki and Albert Papilaya would implement the program in his absence.

Pertina will send three additional boxers -- Stevie Binalay (light welterweight), Dede Chandra (flyweight) and Roland Latuni (light flyweight) -- to Cuba in early July to further their progress.

Pertina has also sent four veteran boxers -- Marwan Muling (lightweight), Willem Papilaya (light welterweight), Damianus Jordan (light flyweight) and Bara Gomies (welterweight) -- and two young boxers -- Irwan (heavyweight) and Wardoyo (flyweight) -- back to their home provinces.

"The four veterans were returned to prepare for the 15th National Games in Surabaya in June. Irwan failed to show much progress and Wardoyo is still recovering from a head injury," Didiet said. (yan)