Olympic-trained swimmers undergo selection at PON
By Ivy Susanti
SURABAYA (JP): The performance at the 15th National Games (PON) of swimmers who attended the Olympic training program will help determine who will be selected to represent Indonesia at the quadrennial event being held in Sydney in September.
Gerald H. Item of the Indonesian Swimming Association said the association would review the performances of some of its swimmers before selecting its lineup for the Olympics.
"They might not be under so much pressure at PON, but they have to show that they are still good enough to join the Olympic team. Some of them will be evaluated. If there are swimmers who are not members of the training program that can show us they can do better than the Olympic-trained swimmers, they will be invited," Gerald said on Thursday.
He refused to name those swimmers whose performances would be reviewed, but said that veteran women's swimmers like Rita Mariani, Meitri Widya Pangestika and Siripiya Sutanto, and young men's swimmers like Audi Oktavian would be welcomed on the team if they could perform.
Meanwhile, host East Java continued its domination on the third day of competition at PON, ending the day with 33 golds, 20 silvers and 20 bronzes. West Java remained in second position with 18 golds, 15 silvers and 16 bronzes, leaving Jakarta, the overall champion at the 1996 PON, in third place with 14 golds, 17 silvers and 21 bronzes.
PON has been acknowledged by FINA as a prequalifying round for the Olympics. One swimmer who attended the Olympic training program, Elsa Manora Nasution, said her performance would be reviewed.
"The officials want me to perform well in PON. They want me to be consistent. They don't expect me to be lazy because I have already qualified for the Olympics," said Elsa, who qualified for the Olympics in the 100m backstroke at the 1999 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.
Elsa has won gold in the 200m relay event and 200m backstroke and a bronze in the 100m freestyle at PON.
Siripiya, who won a gold for Jakarta in the 100m freestyle, expressed hope that she could qualify for the Olympics at PON in her favorite event, the 200m freestyle.
"I hope I can surpass the Olympic qualifying time of two minutes 07:07 seconds in the 200m freestyle. I have already swam so close to the time. During the Southeast Asian Age Group swimming championship last month, I managed to reach 2 minutes 08:50 seconds," she said.
In other events, two judokas who attended the Olympic training program, Aprilia Marzuki of South Sumatra and Kresna Bayu of West Java, were too strong for their rivals.
Aprilia beat Wardiyati of Jakarta in the women's 63-70 kilogram class and Bayu defeated host judoka Wisnu Sri Basuki in the men's 81-90 kilogram event to claim gold medals.
Another member of the Olympic training program, Hamdiah of East Kalimantan, managed a third-place finish in the Olympic version of the FITA round on Thursday. Lilis Handayani of East Java won the gold medal while Purnama Pandiangan of Lampung earned silver.
Unfortunately, the third day of action at PON was marred by violence. On the soccer pitch, FIFA assistant referee Joseph Laisina was mobbed by the Irian team and its supporters following a 0-3 loss to North Sumatra at Petrokimia soccer stadium in Gresik on Thursday.
Laisina received serious injuries to his head before the mob dispersed after police fired warning shots.
And North Sumatra supporters pelted the arena floor with missiles after referees declared women's taekwondoin Farah of West Java the winner of the bantamweight division over Normaliani Potu of North Sumatra.
After long deliberations, the referees revised their decision, declaring the gold would be shared by Potu and Farah.
Medal Tally (as of 9:11 p.m.) Provinces G S B East Java 33 20 20 West Java 18 15 16 Jakarta 14 17 21 Central Java 7 9 10 Lampung 7 8 8 North Sumatra 4 3 9 Jambi 4 3 6 East Kalimantan 4 3 4 South Sulawesi 3 8 8 North Sulawesi 3 3 6 Papua 3 2 4 South Kalimantan 3 1 1 Yogyakarta 2 3 9 Southeast Sulawesi 2 1 1 South Sumatra 1 2 4 Bali 1 2 1 West Kalimantan 1 1 1 Central Kalimantan - 3 3 Riau - 3 - Maluku - 1 2 Bengkulu - 1 - Aceh - - 4 Aceh - - 1 West Sumatra - - - Central Sulawesi - - - West Nusa Tenggara - - - East Nusa Tenggara - - -