Tue, 09 Mar 1999

RI's best shuttlers will go to SEA Games

JAKARTA (JP): Indonesia will send its top badminton players for the 20th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Bandar Seri Begawan in August, the National Sports Council (KONI) said on Monday.

Mochamad Hindarto, KONI chief for athletes development, said the participation of the country's best shuttlers in the games was part of their preparation for international events next year, including Thomas and Uber Cup championships and Sydney Olympics.

Hindarto discussed the plan with Mangombar Ferdinand Siregar of the Badminton Association of Indonesia (PBSI).

Siregar refused to name the players who would be enlisted in the SEA Games team.

"We're not talking about first string or second string of players here, but we decided to send the best team to SEA Games and we feel the Thomas and Uber Cup teams fit our requirement," he said.

Badminton is among 21 sports to be contested at the biennial Games, which will be held in Brunei for the first time.

Indonesia, the overall winner in the last Games held in Jakarta, plans to compete in 20 sports: badminton, basketball, billiards and snooker, bowing, boxing, cycling, soccer, golf, hockey, karate, pencak silat, sepak takraw, shooting, squash, swimming, table tennis, tae-kwon-do, tennis, track and field and traditional boat racing. It will

The Games will be held from Aug. 7 to Aug. 12.

Hindarto said KONI had ordered 20 sport federations to start training programs for the Games by early April at the latest.

So far, training programs for athletes in track and field, cycling, swimming and sepak takraw had already started.

Hindarto said athletes should aim to beat or equal the records of their compatriots set in the 1997 SEA Games during training. (ivy)