Protest reported over number of contested pool events
Paper Edition | Page: 2
Protests and threats of a strike disturbed the competition venues on Sunday as the medal chase at the National Games (PON) 2012 remained tight between Jakarta and West Java with East Java giving both a run for their money.
Competition officials at the gymnastics venue reportedly threatened to strike over delayed payments, although the rumor was unconfirmed.
At the swimming pool, contingents launched protests at the committee’s failure to contest all seven FINA-sanctioned synchronized swimming events.
The committee said that they would hold only three events in the three-day competition beginning on Monday.
FINA is the world governing body of swimming, diving, water polo, synchronized swimming and open water swimming.
West Java contingent member in charge of synchronized swimming, Irma, declined to comment on the issue as did the Jakarta contingent member.
“I don’t want to comment on that because we agreed in the meeting [this morning] that everything will be handled only by [synchronized swimming] technical delegate Fitrah Utami [Black],” Jessica of the Jakarta contingent told The Jakarta Post.
Fitrah said FINA regulations stipulated that synchronized swimming should have seven events in a competition.
“There have been no clear reasons up to now why the PON committee insists on holding only three events,” she said as quoted by tempo.co.
“The PON committee has been referring to a 2000 PON guideline that no longer conforms to [current] FINA guidelines.”
She said the PON committee’s decision was odd, citing the fact that the 2008 PON in East Kalimantan saw seven events in competition.
“It will be a pity for athletes who have trained hard abroad if they’re not given a chance to compete,” said Fitrah.
Synchronized swimming committee head Jonli downplayed the issue, saying there was no chaos.
He said the synchronized swimming committee did not want to violate rules that the PON committee and the National Sports Committee (KONI) had issued.
“Contingents wanted seven events but we cannot do that. We have to stick to regulations. And we’re talking about the PON here, not the Olympics,” Jonli told the Post, adding all stakeholders had agreed to go with three events only.
He, however, refused to confirm whether there were contingents who had registered their athletes for seven synchronized swimming events prior to the Games.
The seven events in synchronized swimming are technical routine solos, free routine solos, technical routine duets, free routine duets, technical routine teams, free routine teams and free routine combination.
Meanwhile, West Java pursued Jakarta tightly in the medal chase. The latter was still atop as of Sunday at 6.45 p.m. but only on the bronze medals, according to Antara.
Each team has collected 66 golds with Jakarta adding to its tally with 48 silver and 64 bronze medals compared to West Java’s 48 silver and 54 bronze medals.
East Java was in third at 56-54-43.