The Jakarta Post
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has given assurances that Indonesia’s Southeast Asian (SEA) Games medalists will receive cash rewards for their stunning medal haul despite falling short of Jokowi’s own request to finish in the top two of the medal table.
Indonesia finished fourth at the 2019 SEA Games in the Philippines, securing 72 gold, 84 silver and 111 bronze after nearly two weeks of competition.
“My target for the SEA Games was for [Indonesia] to be able to rank in the top two, but we managed to finish fourth overall,” Jokowi said on Thursday. “But the gold medal total surpassed the target that I had set before.”
During the send-off of Team Indonesia to the Games late last month, the President had asked the athletes to finish in the top two and bring home at least 60 gold medals.
“Now that we have obtained 72 gold medals, [the medalists] will be rewarded with cash bonuses,” Jokowi said.
The President said gold medalists would earn Rp 500 million (US$ 35,637), silver medalists Rp 300 million and bronze medalists Rp 200 million.
Indonesia finished fourth, behind overall champion and host the Philippines (149 gold, 117 silver and 121 bronze), second-placed Vietnam (98 gold, 85 silver and 105 bronze) and third-placed Thailand (92 gold, 103 silver and 123 bronze).
Indonesia’s chef de mission Harry Warganegara said on Wednesday that achieving Jokowi’s target of finishing second was difficult.
Indonesia previously managed to climb into second place on Dec. 7, only to be surpassed by Vietnam two days later.
"There were 530 sporting events at the 2019 SEA Games, but Indonesia only participated in 80 percent of them. We were already left behind by other countries that participated in all the events," Harry said as quoted by Antara. (dpk/mrc)