"Indonesia, as a big country, wish to become the overall champions," President Joko Widodo said.
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia has set a target to become the overall champion of the 2017 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Malaysia.

"Indonesia, as a big country, wish to become the overall champions," President Joko Widodo said here on Monday.

The president delivered the statement after meeting the Indonesian contingent at the Jakarta Presidential Palace complex on Monday.

"All countries have prepared their athletes well to compete in the 2017 SEA Games. They want to become champions," he stated.

The SEA Games, however, are part of the nations preparations to boost athletes performance prior to the 2018 Games.

"The participation in regular competitions held in the country from an early age becomes a key to victory," the president noted.

"A good competition system should be developed in all branches of sports in an attempt to improve the performance of athletes," he remarked.

The Indonesian government has prepared a team of 755 athletes to compete in the biennial sports event.

The Indonesian contingent to the SEA Games consists of 534 athletes, 166 coaches, and managers, as well as 55 supporting personnel.

In the 2015 SEA Games, Indonesia collected 47 gold medals to finish at the fifth position after overall champion Thailand at the first position, Singapore at the second, Vietnam at the third, and Malaysia at the fourth.

In the all-time SEA Games medal table, Indonesia sits in the top two after participating in 20 SEA Games, with a total of 1,714 gold medals since its debut in 1977. Meanwhile, leader Thailand has collected a total of 2,089 gold medals from 28 Games since 1959.

The Malaysian SEA Games will include 38 sports, respectively, the 208 men's competition events, 177 women's events, and doubles.

The 38 sports included after elimination from the SEA Games 2015 in Singapore are cricket (T20 and T50), track cycling, futsal, hockey, ice skating, karate (kumite and words), lawn bowl, Muaythai, and men's weightlifting.

Meanwhile, the sports that are eliminated consist of canoeing, floor ball, rowing, softball, and dragon boats.

During the events, a total of 1,332 medals will be distributed, which includes 403 gold medals.(*)

Editor: Heru Purwanto
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