Fri, 05 Aug 1994

RI rowers fight tight budget

JAKARTA (JP): The Indonesian Rowing and Canoeing Association (PODSI) expects to shine in the October Asian Games in Hiroshima despite the emergence of mystery rivals and a tight budget.

"Our boys are in pretty good shape, I'm optimistic that we can better our performance in the next Asiad compared to the last one," PODSI chairman Basoeki said here yesterday.

During the last Asian Games in Beijing four years ago, Indonesia took one silver and one bronze.

The silver was contributed by Anisi in the 1,000-meter kayak race with a time of 4min 1.07 sec. The bronze was attained in the 1,000m men's pair kayak race.

"I will not rule out the possibility of snatching the gold medal this time around," Basoeki said.

The official, however, said that mystery rivals originating from the five former Soviet republics might hamper this objective.

"Our knowledge of their skills is still very limited," he said.

Basoeki also said that during the recent Asian rowing championship in Beijing, the five countries had become their most formidable opponents and even managed to overcome China's dominance in this event.

PODSI had initially planned to send 14 rowers for the Asiad, including veterans like Anisi, Karim and Abdul Rozak.

However, the national sports governing body (KONI) stipulates that PODSI can only send four athletes for Asia's biggest sport extravaganza due to limited funds.

KONI also says that even if PODSI can raise its own funding, the quota must be obeyed.

Basoeki, however, maintains a brave face on this matter.

"I'm sure there will be a way out," he said, while declining to mention what concrete steps he might take. (hdj)