Jakarta, (ANTARA News) - Hosting the ongoing Asian Games 2018 in its capital city of Jakarta and South Sumatran provincial capital of Palembang, Indonesia is optimistic it would achieve the target it has set in the Asian sporting events.

As the host of the Asian Games which will last from Aug 18 to Sept 2, Indonesia has set a target to grab at least 16 gold medals in the multi-sport events and to be included among the victorious Top Ten nations.

Until Sunday evening (Aug 26), a week after the opening of the Asian Games, Indonesia has secured 12 gold medals and is ranked fifth in the provisional medals tally. This means that Indonesia has exceeded half of its target both in terms of medal gains and ranking.

So far, Indonesia had won 12 gold medals, two from paragliding, one from rowing, one from speed climbing, one from weightlifting, two from cycling, one from wushu, one from taekwondo, one from tennis, one from karate and one from jet ski.

Minister of Youth and Sports Imam Nahrawi was grateful and thanked God for the achievement. The gold medal won by the host contingent had penetrated two digits, namely 12 pieces. "Alhamdulillah (thank God), our gold medals have increased and it has exceeded 10," he said on the sidelines of the archery quarterfinal round of the men`s team in the archery venue of the GBK Sports Complex, Senayan in Jakarta on Sunday.

On Sunday, Indonesia managed to add two gold medals through the sports of karate and jet ski.

The gold medal of the karate event was won after Indonesian karateka Rifki Ardiansyah Arrosyiid deated his rival in the Kumite-60 kilogram match category at Plenary Hall, Jakarta Convention Center (JCC) in Senayan, Jakarta

The gold medal was won after defeating Iranian karateka Amir Mahdi Zadeh with a final score of 9-7. "Congratulations to Rifki for being able to contribute a gold medal to our country," said the sports minister.

Another gold medal was taken home in the Jet Ski event by Indonesian athlete Aqsa Sutan Aswar, especially in the Endurance Runabout Open class after winning the final points from nine other participants.

Minister Nahrawi hoped that Indonesian athletes would continue to collect gold, silver and bronze medals in the remaining time of the 2018 Asian Games. He said, athletes who contributed whatever medal should be appreciated and must be offered a bonus because they bring a good name to the nation.

"Athletes should continue to fight and ask for prayers from the Indonesian people so that Indonesia can succeed in the 18th Asian Games. Moreover, several Olympic sports have been passed with proven quality," he said adding that until 16.30 local time on Sunday, a total of 50 medals were collected by Indonesia, comprising 12 gold, 13 silver and 25 bronze.

Indonesian Chef de Mission Contingent Chairman retired General Syafruddin is optimistic Indonesia will still continue to win medals after the Indonesian athletes successfully contributed two gold medals on Sunday.

"The success to win the gold medals on Sunday is leading Indonesia closer to its gold acquisition target. This is a kind of a zone towards achieving the 16th gold medal that would bring Indonesia to the Top Ten," said Syafruddin at the Jakarta Convention Center, Senayan, Jakarta, Sunday.

Syafruddin, who is also the Minister of Administrative and Bureaucratic Reform is optimistic that Indonesia has the opportunity to win gold medals in several other sports. "We still have the potential to achieve a lot of gold medals. We are very confident we will achieve the target," he said.

The same optimism was also expressed by Vice President Jusuf Kalla. He said that with the 2018 Asian Games remaining around a week, he was optimistic that Indonesia`s target in the 18th Asian multi-sports events could be achieved.

"So far we have secured 12, and there are still 20 other medals to be contested. That is an achievement that put us on the right track. I`m sure we can fulfill it," Jusuf Kalla said during his visit to Jakabaring Sport City, Palembang, on Sunday.

Jusuf Kalla said he was optimistic because there are still five days remaining to implement the 2018 Asian Games and Indonesia still has several sports branches that have the potentials to win medals. "There is still time, we can achieve it. There are still jet ski, silat, karate and badminton branches," Kalla said.

On the occasion, Jusuf Kalla stressed that whatever the results obtained by the Indonesian team in the 2018 Asian Games, the training of athletes would continue as there were still large events to be faced.

"We will continue to provided training because there are still many other events after this. There is the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, so the coaching will continue," Kalla said.

Reporter: Andi Abdussalam
Editor: Andi Abdussalam
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