W. Java leads as transfer dispute jolts archery
Paper Edition | Page: 20
A member of the West Java fencing team was rushed to a hospital with stomach cramps during the National Games (PON 2012) on Friday as a final archery match had to be delayed because of a disputed athlete transfer.
In a close fencing final against Muhammad Haerullah of South Sulawesi, Budi Darmanto abruptly stopped, trailing his opponent 10-12, and complained of stomach pains. He was transferred to the hospital and his opponent was declared the winner.
Budi’s forfeit failed to dent West Java’s chase for the medals and the contingent continued its lead in the medal tally with 38 gold medals, followed by reigning champion East Java with 35 and Jakarta with 31.
Four out of the 33 contingents had yet to win a medal in the PON, which will run until Sept. 20.
Friday’s events were marred by a dispute over an athlete transfer at the archery range, which prompted a delay in the final match in the individual recurve bow at the Riau Islamic University.
The bronze medal in the men’s category went to Johan Prasetyo AW, while Rina Dewi Puspitasari brought home the bronze in the women’s division. Both archers are from Jakarta.
Rina was only able to compete for the bronze due to a last-minute settlement between her team and her former East Java squad.
The archery competition should have begun at 8 a.m. but was delayed until 2 p.m. when the National Sports Council (KONI) asked the conflicting parties to settle the dispute off the field and ordered the competition to resume.
The Games’ board of judges, established by KONI to settle sport-related issues, previously ruled that Rina could compete in the PON despite her late switch of teams, only if the Jakarta squad paid Rp 300 million (US$31,562) in compensation to the East Java team.
However, the Jakarta team had reportedly failed to comply with the rule as of Friday, spaking protest from the East Java contingent as Rina was about take aim.
In an attempt ease tensions, KONI issued a letter saying Rina could still play and the compensation should be discussed afterwards.
“Rina Dewi Puspitasari can participate in archery matches at the PON 2012 in Riau, taking into account [the importance of] allowing archery matches to continue and supporting the development [of athletes],” said the letter, which was signed on Friday by KONI central board chairman Tono Suratman.
As semifinal competition finally got underway, the battle between East Java’s Diananda Choirunisa and Jakarta’s Rina became intense, with each team’s supporters yelling loudly.
A member of the East Java contingent tried to throw fuel on fire by yelling, “Pay your debt,” referring to the compensation that Jakarta owes East Java for Rina’s transfer.
Diananda looked nervous in the third and fourth sets, while Rina always took her time before letting her arrows fly.
In the end, Diananda regrouped to beat Rina, who had won five gold medals for East Java in 2008, in a 7-3 finish. She advanced to a spot in the finals against Titik Kusumawardani of Yogyakarta, who had topped Hamdiah of East Kalimantan in semifinal competition.
Wrapping up the day, Rahmat Sulistyawan of Yogyakarta won the men’s gold with a 6-0 victory over Johan Prasetyo of Central Java, while Diananda secured gold in the women’s final in a 6-2 victory over Titik.
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