Fri, 11 Feb 2000

Perpani upbeat team to qualify for olympics

JAKARTA (JP): The Indonesian Archery Association (Perpani) is still optimistic that its women's team will be able to qualify for the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.

Perpani secretary-general, Udi Harsono, told reporters on Thursday that the international archery federation (FITA) would announce which countries would join the Olympics in the women's team event on June 26.

"FITA is waiting until April for the results of the pre- Olympics qualifying round in the Africa, Europe and Oceania zones," he said.

Indonesia, which won its first Olympic silver medal in 1988 for archery, has only qualified Hamdiah in the individual event after competing in the World Championships in Riom, France, last year.

Based on FITA regulations, only 16 countries are allowed to compete in the Olympics' team event. Eight countries have qualified in the World Championships while two others qualified in the America and Asia Championships.

The remaining six tickets will be given to countries who have two athletes qualifying for the Olympics and one on the waiting list or one athlete qualifying and two on the waiting list.

Indonesia has Nurfitriyana and Lusia Elizabeth on the waiting list.

Udi said Japan and Cuba had the best chance to qualify for the first category while Indonesia still had an opportunity as it was in the second position after Kazakhstan in the second category.

He said he would not worry that the results of the qualifying round in the three zones would affect Indonesia's chances.

"I think only one country will qualify from Europe while Africa and Oceania countries have a very slight chance to get the Olympics berths," he said.

However, Perpani is still waiting for donations from the State Secretary to be able to finance its training programs. Former state secretary Muladi had approved help for Perpani, especially after the organization had a debt of nearly Rp 60 million (US$8,000) after preparing for the World championships and the Asian Championships in Beijing last year. (yan)