Asian Games: Indonesian judokas go home empty handed
Gemma Holliani Cahya
The Jakarta Post
Indonesian judokas left the Asian Games arena empty handed, a shocking reality for the association.
“Honestly it is hard to compete at the Asian Games level. […] We sent 11 fighters to compete in 16 categories and the best achievement was by Ardelia Yuli Fradivtha, who reached the quarterfinals in the women’s under 63-kg class,” team manager Col. Czi Amalsyah Tarmizi told The Jakarta Post on Friday.
In the lower level of competition at the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games two years ago in Kuala Lumpur, national judokas won two gold medals and one silver.
Tarmizi said the poor performance was not due to tough competition in the arena against judokas from Japan, South Korea and Central Asian countries - most of whom had won world championship titles and Olympic Games medals - but also the athletes' physical condition.
Tarmizi said the Indonesian Judo Association (PJI) would encourage more young children to start learning the Japanese-origin martial arts, including by sending some young children to the judo dormitory in Ciloto, West Java.
“In other countries like Japan and Korea, they train their athletes from an early age. Here, judo is less popular. It is not easy to find a dojo. That is one of the reasons why judo is not developing here," he said.
Tarmizi said the PJI would look forward by focusing on the 2019 SEA Games in the Philippines.
“We want to maintain our achievement as the overall champion [of judo] in the SEA Games,” he said. (yan)
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