Sun, 23 Jan 2000

RI shooters' chances 'slim' in qualifying for Olympics: Official

JAKARTA (JP): Indonesian female shooters have slim chance of qualifying for the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney in September due to their poor world record, the Indonesian Shooting and Hunting Association official in charge of target shooting, Sita Razni, said on Saturday.

Sita expressed her doubt that four national female shooters, who will compete in the Asian Shooting Championships in Langkawi, Malaysia, next week, could improve their personal best.

"With many countries competing in the championships, especially Australian shooters, who have better records than Indonesians, our athletes have little chance to qualify in the Olympics," she said.

Indonesia is fielding Suparni, Gusti Ayu Indradewi and Yuniarti in the individual and team air rifle match events, and Bari Agustini in the air pistol and sports pistol in the championships, which will take place from Jan. 25 to Jan. 30.

For example, Sita said, a Chinese shooter was holding a world record of 399 points, in comparison to Indonesia's Suparni, whose personal best was 393.

Sita hoped the four shooters could sharpen national records in the championships, which will be attended by about 600 shooters.

"We hope they can improve their technical skills so they can match their Asian counterparts," she was quoted by Antara as saying on Saturday.

Speaking on the absence of Sarmunah, Sita said Sarmunah failed to perform here as she had to continue her study in the Women's Army Corps.

"We won't ask her to participate in the championships because it could disrupt her military career. But she should have qualified for the Olympics," she said without elaborating.

Sarmunah won the 1999 Southeast Asian Games gold medal in the women's individual double trap and a silver in the team event with Titin Indahwati and Rina Dwi Kusumaningtyas.

Sita, who has just returned from Malaysia after attending the Asian shooting federation conference, said that the chairmanship of the Asian shooting federation had been handed from Indonesia to Malaysia.

She said that she was appointed a member of the executive committee at the organization along with other shooting association officials from Thailand and South Korea.

She said Lely Sampurna was elected a member of the referee committee, together with officials from Japan, Thailand and the Philippines. (ivy)