The Jakarta Post
With the 29th SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur nearly wrapped up, Indonesia had only snatched 38 gold, 62 silver and 84 bronze medals as of Tuesday afternoon. The Red-and-White squad’s gold medal tally is lower than the targeted 55 gold medals and even below the achievement of the 2015 SEA Games, when Indonesia bagged 47 golds.
The medal tally sees Indonesia rank fifth on the medal table, below Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia. Looking back at history, Indonesia topped the medal tally 10 times since its first participation in 1977 during the 9th SEA Games. The country last sat at the top position in 2011, when we hosted the Games.
As the 29th SEA Games draw to a close, there is growing concern about athlete regeneration. Indonesia has been relying mostly on the same athletes during the biennial event, placing high expectations on the same names, such as swimmer Indra Gunawan, runner Triyaningsih, lifter Eko Yuli Irawan and archer Ika Yuli.
We can only assume that our poor regeneration is caused by a lack of attention on future athletes. Leaders may be busy arguing instead of providing much-needed resources for young athletes, or maybe we are simply failing to make sports attractive for the youth. Whatever the reasons, we are no longer “the tiger” in this region.
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