The Jakarta Post
Powered by four of its favorite athletes, Indonesia is shooting for gold and silver medals in duathlon and triathlon at the upcoming 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in the Philippines, which kick off on Saturday.
Indonesia is to deploy Jauhari Johan, 32, Eva Desiana, 29, M. Ahlul Firman, 21, and Nethavani Octarina, 18, for the SEA Games, which allows participants to collect points to participate in the 2024 Summer Olympic Games in France.
Jauhari, a former national long-distance runner, leads the pack for being the most experienced athlete among them. Despite making his name in track and field, Jauhari started his sporting career as a triathlete, winning the Triathlon Junior Asia Series Macau in 2002.
The Indonesian team manager for the triathlon, Akbar Nasution, said he was confident that the four athletes could win five medals in the Games.
“Based on our data, Jauhari Johan and Eva Desiana have the potential to win golds in the duathlon. Meanwhile, Ahlul Firman and Nethavani have the potential to win silvers in the triathlon. As for a mixed relay category, we’re aiming for a silver,” Akbar said in a statement.
In the Games, the triathlon and duathlon are to be contested from Dec. 1 to 4. The triathlon consists of swimming, cycling and running, while the duathlon consists of running and cycling in a format similar to the triathlon.
He said the Indonesian triathlon team’s main aim was to qualify for the 2024 Olympics by collecting the needed points.
“We’re optimistic about Ahlul and Nethavani’s participation in the Games, in which a maximum result could give each athlete the points for the summer Olympics,” said Akbar, adding that all four athletes had been trained in Bandung and Malang camps for the Games.
Jauhari said the team had undergone proper preparations, especially mentally.
Meanwhile, Ahlul said he was optimistic he would do better in the Games, as compared to the 2018 Asian Games at home.
“I’ve had a better training program. Since competing [in the Asian Games] last year, I’ve set myself to bring home a SEA Games medal,” he added.
In total, Indonesia will deploy 773 athletes to compete in 49 out of the 59 sports in the Philippines Games.