RI has a good chance of winning Olympic golds
JAKARTA (JP): Indonesia's success in winning two titles in two five-star Grand Prix series tennis tournaments has increased the country's optimism of bringing home gold medals from the Olympic Games in Sydney next month.
Badminton Association of Indonesia (PBSI) chairman Subagyo Hadisiswoyo said on the sidelines of a scholarship handing over ceremony at Trisakti University that Taufik Hidayat, who won both the Indonesia and Malaysia Open crowns, had a considerable chance of winning the gold medal without pushing aside seniors Hendrawan and Marlev Mainaky.
"With his victory in two consecutive tournaments, we are optimistic that he, and his seniors, has a chance to win gold. The success in the Thomas Cup championships in Kuala Lumpur in May is also an indication of our chances," he said on Monday.
In the Indonesia Open, Candra Wijaya and Tony Gunawan won the title while runners up Flandy Limpele and Eng Hian managed to win the Malaysia Open title.
"Our chances in the men's doubles are also good. We all know that the event has become our strength for some time since the early 1990s," Subagyo said.
But Subagyo was pessimistic about Indonesia's chances in the mixed doubles as Indonesia's number one duo of Tri Kusharyanto and Minarti Timur failed to win the title, bowing out to Kim Dong-moon and Ra Kyung-min of South Korea in the Malaysia Open final. They also lost in the Indonesia Open semifinals to eventual winners Joanne Goode and Simon Archer of England.
PBSI training director Christian Hadinata said that Taufik had shown great promise since the Thomas Cup.
"About two years ago, he trailed behind the top players. Now he'll be the number one in the newest IBF ranking list and he's the trailed. He must be prepared for the situation," he said.
Separately, the secretary-general of the National Sports Council (KONI), Rudolf S. Warouw, said the council would recommend to the Australian Embassy and to the finance ministry that visa application be made easier and exit taxed be waived for 70 supporters to the Sept. 15 to Oct. 1 Olympics.
"Supporters won't get ID cards from the organizers. Besides, they must pay for their own transportation and accommodation. They also have to buy tickets to enter a venue," he said.
Warouw said that among those included on the list were 22 people recommended by the Indonesian Taekwondo Association and eight people by the Indonesian Wrestling Association.
The Indonesian contingent -- comprising 48 athletes, 23 coaches and 19 officials -- is expected to receive support from Indonesian citizens in Australia.
"I met some Indonesians last year and they agreed to help us during our stay in Australia. I have also met with the Consulate General officials and they'll help us verify the name of Indonesian visitors as stated in the passports," he said.
Warouw said besides the formal members of the contingent, the Sydney Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games (SOCOG) also approved the guest transferable (GT) status for nine Indonesians.
Recipients of guest transferable cards are Subagyo, Indonesian Archery Association chairman Hayono Isman, weightlifting training director Djoko Pramono, House of Representatives Commission VI on human resources and religion affairs chairman Ma'ruf Amin and deputy chairman Paturungi Parawansa, McDonald's Indonesia president Bambang Rachmadi, Gelora Senayan financial deputy executive director M. Sarengat and KONI vice chairmen Indra Djati Sidi and Harsuki.
Warouw said KONI would also send 10 officials, including six assistants, to the Olympics, including training director Arie Sudewo and four unidentified people who were not granted ID cards by organizers, apart from the official contingent. (ivy/yan)