Thu, 30 Aug 2001

PASI urged to send athletes to more quality events abroad

JAKARTA (JP): Indonesia's veteran middle- and long-distance runner Eduardus Nabunome suggested that the Indonesian Athletics Amateur Association (PASI) give athletes more shots at world- class events in a bid to improve on their achievements.

"PASI should send more athletes to international track and field meetings, such as the IAAF Grand Prix series, so the athletes can get a taste of stiff competition," Edu, as Eduardus is better known, told reporters on Wednesday.

"Our athletes will surely lose, but their performance will be greatly boosted. We must follow in the footstep of Malaysia, which frequently sends its athletes to prestigious events abroad," he added.

Edu said Indonesian men 100-meter sprinters, for example, whose best times linger at about 10.70 seconds should compete with foreign sprinters whose best times range between 10.20 seconds and 10.30 seconds.

Edu was speaking at a media conference to launch the Rp 200 million (US$22,700) 2001 Indonesia Power Bali 10K Website. The run will be held on Oct. 14. Interested parties can access the Website and register online at

He lamented the fact that younger runners had yet to beat his 10-kilometer best time of 30mins:10secs that he set in Bali back in 1988.

"Nobody has improved on that record yet. On many occasions, despite the fact that I was growing older, I won the run, clocking over 35 minutes," Edu said.

"Younger runners lack fighting spirit as they tend to look at the prize money first."

"PASI should scout more talent from provinces across the country. It takes some two to three years to develop them before they can break the old records," said Edu.

Born in North Pene in East Nusa Tenggara on April, 1966, Edu also set the national 10,000-meter track record of 29 mins:50 secs at the 1986 Asian Games in Seoul. Subeno lopped 11 seconds off the record at the 1990 Asiad in Beijing, which remains intact.

Edu was also critical of Indonesia's sports policy, which places more emphasis on the medals count than on improving on athletes' personal achievement, especially at multievent sports meets.

"Such a policy discourages athletes from doing their best as they will only aim for medals instead of improving on their best record, especially in events having little competition," said Edu.

"Why should the athletes train hard if they already know that there will be little or no competition?" he asked.

The National Sports Council (KONI) has set a target of more than 100 gold medals at the Kuala Lumpur 2001 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in an effort to restore the nation's pride.

Edu was sure that Indonesian middle- and long-distance runners could contribute five gold medals to seven gold medals from the men's and women's marathon and women's middle distance events at the upcoming SEA Games. (nvn)