Asian Games: Finishing 4th is key to SEA Games, Olympics

Stefanno Reinard Sulaiman

The Jakarta Post


Jakarta   /  Sun, September 2, 2018  /  07:22 pm

Indonesia's delegation joins the opening ceremony parade of the 2018 Asian Games at Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Central Jakarta on Aug. 18, 2018. (AFP/ Jewel Samad)

Administrative and Bureaucratic Reform Minister Syafruddin said on Sunday that he was proud of the national athletes for their amazing achievements at the Asian Games and hoped they would repeat their success in upcoming competitions, including the 2019 Southeast (SEA) Games in the Philippines. 

“I want them to become the overall winner of the 2019 SEA Games and also to shine in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics,” he said. “I believe that our fourth place in the Asian Games [medals tally] will boost our performance later."

Syafruddin said Indonesia could pin its hopes for Olympic medals not only on badminton, but also on track-and-field, weightlifting and skateboarding, whose athletes impressed the region during the Games with their medal achievements.

The newly elected minister said that as a show of appreciation for the winning athletes, the government recently issued a ministerial decree to speed up their civil servant status.

It is customary for Indonesian athletes who win medals at international sporting events to be appointed as civil servants.

“As I am the minister, I have inked a new ministerial decree stipulating that they [medalists] can become a civil servant without first passing a test,” he said.

Indonesia ended its Asian Games journey in fourth place with 98 medals, comprising 31 golds, 24 silvers and 43 bronzes. The overall winner of the Games is China with a total 289 medals, followed by Japan and South Korea with 205 and 177 medals, respectively.