Asian Games - Men`s marathon opens tough competition at asian games athletics

Asian Games - Men`s marathon opens tough competition at asian games athletics

West Java runner Agus Prayogo looked at his time record after touching the finish line in the men's 5000 m of the National Athletics Championship in Jakarta in 2017 (ANTARA Photo/Sigid Kurniawan)

Jakarta  (ANTARA News) - The Men`s marathon event is opened in Jakarta on Saturday, marking the start of tough competitions of the 18th Asian Games` athletics that will last for six days to contest 48 gold medals at stake.

On the first day of this branch of sports, four gold medals were contested in the final rounds of the men`s marathon, women`s hammer throw, women`s 10000m, and men`s shot put categories.

Indonesia`s struggle for grabbing a medal merely relied on Agus Prayogo, who competed with 20 other athletes of 12 countries, including North Korea, South Korea, China, Japan, Nepal, Bahrain, and Thailand, in the final round of men`s marathon.

"I am aware of a very tough competition in the men`s marathon event, and I will do my best," said Agus Prayogo, who currently works for the Indonesian Defense Forces and possesses a marathon record of 2:21:09.

For the sake of this 18th Asian Games, he had conducted an intensive training for several months at the mountaineous area of Pengalengan in Bandung District, West Java Province.

"I have been ready. I will make my best effort to gain the best achievement," he said. The toughest rivals of this Indonesian runner are Hiroto Inoue and Hayato Sonoda of Japan as well as the runners of Mongolia, China, North Korea, and South Korea.

Besides athletics, two other branches of sports, also offering the gold medals on Saturday, were Karate (four gold medals) and canoe/kayak sprint (two gold medals).

On the sixth day of the 2018 Asian Games, a total of 26 gold medals are contested in 11 sport events, including athletics, karate, canoeing/kayaking, shooting, weightlifting, bowling, Jujitsu, tennis, jet skiing, and BMX race bike.

Indonesia`s medal tally is expected to get increased from its athletes competing in the BMX race bike, bowling, canoeing/kayaking, and jet skiing.

Indonesia is hosting the Asian Games for the second time this year, after Jakarta was selected as the venue for the Asian sporting event in 1962.

This year, Jakarta and Palembang, the capital city of South Sumatra Province, are co-hosting the games from Aug 18 to Sept 2.

By virtue of its hosting the 2018 games, the country aims to secure a place among the top 10 largest sporting events.

At this world`s second biggest multi-sport event after the Olympics, around 15 thousand athletes from 45 countries will compete in 462 events across 40 sports, of which 32 are Olympic sports.

The Olympic sports are Aquatics, Athletics, Fencing, Weightlifting, Basketball, Handball, Badminton, Baseball/Softball, Cycling, Equestrian, Golf, Wrestling, Hockey, Judo, Karate, Canoeing and Kayaking, Sailing, Shooting, Modern Pentathlon, Archery, Sport Climbing, Rowing, Rugby, Gymnastics, Roller Skating, Football, Table Tennis, Taekwondo, Tennis, Boxing, Triathlon, and Volleyball.

The non-Olympic sports are Bowling; Bridge; Cricket; Kabaddi; Martial Arts, including Jujitsu, Kurash, Pencak Silat, Sambo, and Wushu; Mechanical Sports, such as Paragliding and Jet Skiing; Squash; and Sepak Takraw.

Indonesia`s target is to make it to the top 10 by winning a minimum of 16 gold medals.

Reporting by Didik Kusbiantoro
Editing by Rahamd Nasution