Sun, 13 Feb 2000

Pertina refuses to request wild cards for Olympics

JAKARTA (JP): Chairman of the Indonesian Amateur Boxing Association (Pertina) Sang Nyoman Suwisma has refused to request wild cards for the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney.

Suwisma said here on Friday he would prefer his boxers to show their own achievements rather than relying on wild cards to participate in the quadrennial event.

National boxers have failed in two previous prequalifying bouts in Tashkent and Taejon City, South Korea. They will have one more chance to qualify for the Olympics in bouts in Bangkok from April 1 to April 7.

"We must qualify through the prequalifying rounds. We have a good chance to qualify in Bangkok, particularly in the light- flyweight and welterweight divisions, because there will be no boxers from the host country competing in this event." Suwisma said.

"They have all qualified already and we have already recognized the strengths of other countries' boxers," he was quoted as saying by Antara on Friday.

Suwisma said the association had groomed eight national boxers who were trained by Frans V.B. and Cuban coach Carlos J.P. Torres.

He named the boxers as La Paene Masara and Damianus Jordan (light-flyweight), Hermansen Ballo and Suwardoyo (flyweight), Marwan Muling (lightweight), Steve Binalay (light-welterweight), Bara Gommies (welterweight) and Willem Papilaya (light- middleweight).

The eight boxers will be selected in bouts collectively called Sarung Tinju Emas (Golden Boxing Gloves) in Batam from Feb. 28 to March 4.

"We will only send one boxer from each weight division and we will also include boxers in the bantamweight and featherweight division," Suwisma said, adding that he would pick a boxer from another weight division to replace national boxers who lose in the bout.

He vowed to send the boxers to Cuba should they qualify in Bangkok to increase their experience and their boxing knowledge.

"They should be in Cuba prior to the Olympics," he said.

He also said that Pertina had invited 30 countries to take part in the President Cup here from July 23 to July 30. The countries, he said, had yet to confirm their participation.

He said Indonesia would send the winners of the Golden Boxing Gloves in each weight division to fight in the championship. He said the association would send the boxers in three groups.(ivy)