Sat, 24 May 2003

RI shooters ponder Korea, NZ outings

Musthofid, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

With the Asian shooting championship scrapped due to the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), Indonesian shooting hopefuls are aiming for South Korea and New Zealand to try out their skills ahead of the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.

"The Asian meet was scheduled to take place in Malaysia in July. Now we have to go elsewhere as part of the shooters' overseas outing. It may be the tournaments in Korea or New Zealand," Anggodo, the deputy training chief, told The Jakarta Post here on Friday.

Anggodo said the Indonesian Target Shooting Association (Perbakin) was grooming about 60 participants in 12 events under Australian head coach Ian M. Halle.

On the list is veteran Sarmunah, who helped earn Indonesia three of its 35 gold medals on offer in the shooting event at the 2001 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur.

Meanwhile, Yoshi Agusta, one of the participants, said overseas tournaments would be important to build on their skills and especially to increase mental stamina.

It even becomes an imperative for the running-target event Yoshi specializes in.

"We have no tournaments in running-targets here at home because there are few participants. We are going to have to go out there to assess what we have gotten out of training," Yoshi, the 1997 SEA Games gold medalist, said.

"We may get a satisfying score during training, but it doesn't guarantee a good performance during the tournament. Our shaky mental stamina can interfere with our concentration," he said.

The next SEA Games in Vietnam will see a return of the running target being contested for the first time in five years in the biennial Southeast Asian multi-event showcase. The last time the event was featured was in the 1997 SEA Games in Jakarta.

The running-target event will have eight gold medals up for grabs.

Anggodo and Yoshi agreed that while Thailand dominated the event at the last games, which were in Kuala Lumpur, Vietnam as the host would be the hot contender this time around.

"Vietnam's shooting has shown rapid progress," Anggodo said.

Perbakin has also hired Bryan Wilson to take charge of the five men and three women who are participating as running-target participants.

Wilson, who has been with the team for a month, said the SEA Games in Vietnam would only serve as the short-term goal of his training regime.

"The 2008 Olympics is our long-term goal. We have a lot of work to do and we have a good program for the athletes," Wilson said, adding that he was optimistic about the progress being made by all team members.

The SEA Game hopefuls are among the 185 participants competing in the May 23 to May 25 National Shooting Championship at Senayan Shooting Range in Central Jakarta.