Sports

Triyaningsih needs to work
to pave her way to London

Indonesia’s long-distance runner Triyaningsih’s best time in the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou, China, exceeded the 2012 Olympics marathon qualification mark, but with a decline in her current performance, the 24-year-old still needs to work for her entry to London.

At the marathon event in Guangzhou, Triyaningsih recorded two hours and 31 minutes, while the Olympics qualification mark for the women’s marathon is two hours 37 minutes (Standard A) or two hours 43 minutes (Standard B).

She will need to reach finishing times within those standards within the Olympics’ marathon qualifying period, which stretches from Jan. 1 to July 8.

“At the recent SEA Games, I finished in only two hours 45 minutes, which was quite far from my best time. However, I believe I can still reach the Olympics’ Standard B limit. It depends on the Almighty but most importantly, I will do my best to work it out,” said Triyaningsih on the sidelines of an event where she received a scholarship award from state-owned Bank Mandiri on Wednesday.

Due to the arduous nature of the 42.195-kilometer race, a marathon runner can usually only compete twice in a year, aiming to maintain their best performance in each race.

“The marathon is also a very unpredictable race; everything really depends on the overall preparation strategy and how good a runner’s physical fitness and mental conditioning are,” said Triyaningsih.

The Indonesian Track-and-Field Association’s (PASI) secretary-general, Tigor Tanjung, acknowledged the challenges faced by Triyaningsih since the SEA Games in November up until the London Olympics in August, which leaves little time for competing in another race beforehand.

“But we still hope to field her in one marathon-qualifier race in April. In that way, she will have had some four months’ rest since the SEA Games and another four months before the start of the Olympics,” said Tigor, adding that either Taiwan or Japan might be Triyaningsih’s destination for the qualifier. According to the International Association of Athletics Federations’ (IAAF) calendar, the Nagano Olympic Commemorative Marathon in Japan is scheduled for April 15.

Triyaningsih’s coach, Alwi Mugiyanto, was cautious regarding PASI’s plan. “A rest of four or five months is not enough for attaining the best result. For the next seven months, she should be focusing on her preparations to peak at London. It would be better for her, therefore, not to compete in any tournament,” Alwi told The Jakarta Post.

Instead, Alwi suggested that Triyaningsih be given one of the country’s quota slots, which is the right of any country that fails in qualification to send two athletes to both a women’s event and a men’s event at the Olympics.

Tigor said PASI’s plan to send Triyaningsih to the qualifier may change depending on the situation. “If she is too tired, we might consider applying for a quota place for her,” said Tigor, recalling that at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Indonesia also sent two athletes, Suryo Agung Wibowo and Dedeh Erawati, based on the quota rule.

Besides Triyaningsih, PASI also hopes to see qualification by the men’s 4x100 meters relay team (Fernando Lumain, Fadlin, Farrel Oktaviandi, Safwaturrahman, Iswandi and Franklin Ramses Buruni), and the men’s 100-meter and 200-meter sprinter Franklin Ramses Buruni. The relay qualification period began on Jan. 1, 2011 and continues until July 2012, while qualification for the individual events began on May 1, 2011 and go on until July 8, 2012.

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