Fri, 23 Jun 2000

Rosena chooses family over Sydney Olympics

SURABAYA (JP): Most athletes in the world dream of competing in the Olympic Games. But not so with Indonesian women's archer Rosena Gelanteh, who prefers to live a happy life with her family and concentrate on her job rather than the Olympics.

Due to her past achievements in the sport, Rosena was invited by the Indonesian Archery Association to join the 2000 Olympic training program in Jakarta early this year, along with Hamdiah, Lusia Elizabeth Sumampouw and Purnama Pandiangan.

She turned down the offer, however, saying she had to take care of her 57-year-old mother who is battling cancer.

"It's hard for me to join the national team again. I don't want to leave my family and my job. It doesn't mean that I'm not a nationalist. I love this country, but I had a difficult choice," she said.

"If I train again, I have to bring my daughter with me, but then I can't focus on training. If my daughter is not with me, it will be even worse," said Rosena, who is a human resources official at state Bank Jabar in Bandung.

Rosena left the archery range in 1995 to become a full-time mother. "I wanted to take a rest. I wanted to have more children," said Rosena, who is married to Wahyudi Kiswoyo. The couple have one child, two-and-a-half-year-old Valentina Ratri Kiswoyo.

Despite her long absence from archery, Rosena managed to win gold in the women's individual 60m FITA round and silver in the 70m and 50m target events at the 15th National Games (PON) at the KONI archery range here on Tuesday.

"I was back training for only three months before competing here. I got a dispensation from my office, but my boss said at that time that I had to win gold for West Java," she said, adding that her supervisor promised her a bonus if she earned a medal in the competition.

"I was very surprised to find out that I was able to do well in the competition. I told myself that I'm not here to challenge anyone to prove that I still exist despite my absence from competition over the past few years."

Born in Muara Teweh, Central Kalimantan, on March 6, 1968, Rosena learned archery from her father Gudem Herman in 1987. Herman last competed in the 1989 PON in Jakarta.

Rosena is the record holder in the national round of the women's individual 50m with a score of 294, which she achieved in 1989. She set the record for total score with a 924 in 1993.

In the Olympic version of FITA's round, Rosena holds the national record of 611 in the women's individual 72 arrow event, an achievement she reached in 1994. Purnama scored a 109 to set the record in the individual 12 arrow event in 1996. Kusumawardani set the record of 160 in the individual 18 arrow event in 1996.

In the FITA round, the Indonesian team of Purnama, Rosena and Nurfitriyana Lantang hold the national record of 3,870, which they achieved in 1991. (ivy)