Jakarta: Chairman of the Indonesian Olympic Committee (KOI) Raja Sapta Oktohari emphasized that the government did not burden athletes with high targets at the 2021 SEA Games in Vietnam on May 12-23, 2022.
"According to President Joko Widodo's direction, we had been at rank five or four. He hoped we could be at rank three, two, or even one. However, the president did not order us to be at a certain rank," Oktohari noted in Hanoi, Thursday.
He explained that the president did not burden the athletes with the top three targets, as he was aware of the short preparation period. This is inseparable from the conditions that have occurred in recent years related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The interstate sports event in Southeast Asia was planned to be canceled in 2022 after being delayed in 2021. However, at the start of this year, the SEA Games was decided to be held again due to the COVID-19 assessment that had slowed down.
Based on that matter, the KOI deems it necessary to conduct a strict selection to send athletes to the sports events in which 11 countries participated.
Indonesia, which from the start, has made the SEA Games as an "intermediate" target towards more prestigious multi-sport events, specifically the Asian Games and Olympics, has decided to send only 499 athletes and 214 officials.
This figure is a reduction by at least half the number of the Indonesian contingent’s members sent during every SEA Games.
Through this rigorous selection process, the KOI could measure the chances of Indonesian athletes securing medals with more precision, Oktohari noted.
“Actually, the athletes’ achievements are measurable now. Who will get the gold, silver, and bronze. This has been proven by our analysis team whose prediction is so far 90-percent correct,” he affirmed.
Until now, Indonesian delegates had collected three gold and four silver medals. This achievement puts Indonesia in third place in the standings for medals or below the first rank of Vietnam, with 10 gold, 7 silver, and 10 bronze medals, and Malaysia in second place, with 9 gold, 3 silver, and 6 bronze medals.
"We continue to observe this achievement, and hopefully, our athletes would perform optimally," Oktohari concluded.
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