Indonesia to focus on prioritised sports ahead of Olympics: Minister

JAKARTA (Xinhua) – The Indonesian government will foster development in the sports which provided gold medals to the country in the recent Asian Games, as it aims to take part in the qualification for the forthcoming Olympics in Tokyo.

Indonesian Youth and Sport Minister Imam Nahrawi made the announcement last Monday.

“This will be an opportunity for the sports potentially providing medals heading into the Olympics,” Nahrwi said.

On the upcoming SEA Games in the Philippines, Nahrawi said that they would be a stepping stone for the Indonesian athletes heading to the Olympics and the Asian Games.

“SEA Games will no longer be targetted for victory or a better rank for Indonesia. This is expected to provide a good boost to young athletes,” he said, referring to the 60 per cent of the country’s athletes to be sent to the Games who are junior athletes.

During the Asian Games hosted by Indonesia last year, the country’s athletes secured a total of 31 gold medals from 13 sports, including Pencak Silat martial art, wall climbing, badminton, paragliding, mountain bike, rowing, Wushu and others.

Indonesian athletes also obtained 24 silver medals and 43 bronze medals in the Games, finising in fourth place.

Indonesian mixed doubles badminton pair Tantowi Ahmad/Liliyana Natsir secured a gold medal in the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.