Fri, 11 Apr 2003

Top players vie for SEA Games slots

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

A number of top-ranked table tennis players are taking part in a two-day competition that will play a key role in deciding who will receive an invitation to the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.

The event, which began on Thursday, features 11 men and eight women players. The players were the top five men and women finishers at last year's national championship, plus wild card holders -- six in the men's division and three in the women's.

The men's contenders are Deddy da Costa, M. Husein, M. Khoirudin, David Yacob, Zainuddin, Nanang Gatot, Ismu Harinto, Freddy Mulli, Budiono, Yon Mardiono and Jajad.

The women's competition features Fauziah Yulianti, Santi Febriani, Ratna, Christine Ferliana, Ling Ling Agustine, Nilasari, Lindawati and Rury Raung.

The event is a round-robin competition with the top finishers eligible to join a training camp for the SEA Games.

After the first day of the competition, Deddy, David and Zainuddin were leading the men's division, with three wins and one loss each.

On the women's side, Fauziah Yulianti, a frequent member of the national team, was in a four-way tie for the lead with three wins and a loss.

The Indonesian Table Tennis Association (PTMSI) said the Games hopefuls would be groomed at a training camp in North Korea starting in May.

Dedi Kurniawan, the PTMSI official in charge of development, said the team's line-up could change during the six months before of the Games.

"We will monitor the athletes during their workouts as well as at international tournaments," Dedi told The Jakarta Post.

The two-day qualifying event will be followed by a two-day national club championship on Saturday and Sunday. Eight clubs will be involved in that event.