Sat, 16 Sep 2000

Wynne, Yayuk fighting flu in Sydney ahead of matches

JAKARTA (JP): Women's tennis hopefuls Wynne Prakusya and Yayuk Basuki are fighting off the flu as Sydney's chilling temperature is proving to be a hurdle to Indonesia's bid to excel in the Olympic Games.

Assistant for general affairs of the Indonesian contingent, Indra Kartasasmita, said in a teleconference from the Olympic Village in Homebush Bay in Sydney that both Wynne and Yayuk could not stand the cold weather.

"It's very cold here. The temperature is about 15 degrees Celsius during the daytime but it's colder in the evening. Wynne has had a fever for two days while Yayuk is starting to cough," Indra said.

He said the two tennis aces were receiving intensive medical treatment and were expected to recover right in time.

"It's not a very serious illness. They'll recover soon," Indra said.

The flu forced both Yayuk and Wynne to skip the opening ceremony at the Olympics Stadium, where participants had to stand for 187 minutes.

Several other athletes -- archer Hamdiah; shuttlers Zelin Resiana, Bambang Suprianto, Tri Kusharjanto and Minarti Timur; table tennis players Anton Suseno and Ismu Harjanto; weightlifters Sri Indriyani, Winarni, Lisa Rumbewas -- also missed the opening.

"Their coaches recommended that they skip the ceremony, which was held in the open air for three hours. It would have adversely affected their stamina ahead of their upcoming matches," Indra said.

He was speaking to Indonesian journalists when the opening ceremony took place.

Wynne will face Emmanuelle Gagliardi of Switzerland in the first round of the singles events on Monday. If the 20-year-old Indonesian wins, she will likely meet 15th seed Elena Likhotseva of Russia, who faces Jana Kenderr of Germany in the first round.

The day after, Wynne and Yayuk will team up against Japanese duo of Nana Miyagi and Ai Sugiyama in the doubles first round at the Tennis Center in the Sydney Olympics Park in Homebush Bay on Tuesday. Should they survive, they will meet the winners between Tamarine Tanasugarn and Benjamas Sangaram of Thailand and Mariana Mesa and Fabiola Zuluaga of Colombia.

Speaking of Indonesian windsurfer Oka Sulaksana's chances, Indra, who is also an advisor to the Indonesian Yachting and Windsurfing Association (Porlasi), said the wind in the Sailing Marina in Rushcutters Bay in Sydney's eastern suburbs was perfect for Oka.

"When we watched Oka train yesterday, the wind was only 12 knots. Should the wind speed increased to 20 knots, Oka can still deal with it. However, he must be able to handle his board as the wind keeps shifting."

"Oka's coach Bruce Kendall of New Zealand said Oka is now among the best 15 from 100 windsurfers competing in the Olympics. From 10 races, Oka is expected to be among the leading pack."

The teleconference was jointly organized by the National Sports Council (KONI) and state telecommunications company PT Indosat Persero Tbk.

Teleconferences will be held every day during the 16-day Olympics. (yan)