Asian Games 2018

Asian Games (news focus) - Pencak silat athlete makes surprise action

Asian Games (news focus) - Pencak silat athlete makes surprise action

President Joko Widodo (left) and General Chairperson of the Indonesian Pencak Silat Association (IPSI) Prabowo Subianto (right) hugged each other when they watched 2018 Asian Games Pencak Silat at Padepokan Pencak Silat at Taman Mini Indonesia Indah, Jakarta, Wednesday (29/8 / 2018). (ANTARA PHOTO/Kumparan/INASGOC/Aditia Noviansyah)

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The final round of pencak silat event in Jakarta witnessed a great moment on Wednesday evening.

Indonesian pencak silat athlete Hanifan Yudani Kusumah made two political rivals in the country, namely President Joko Widodo and chief of the Indonesian Association of Pencak Silat (IPSI), Prabowo Subianto, to be united by a hug.

The moment happened while Kusumah was celebrating his victory against his opponent Thai Linh Nguyen from Vietnam.

After the victory was confirmed, Kusumah ran to the dignitaries. He first shook hands with the chief of the Indonesian Asian Games 2018 contingent, who is also a cabinet minister, Syafruddin; with former president Megawati Soekarnoputri; and Vice President Jusuf Kalla.

He later moved on to hug Widodo followed by Subianto. But to the surprise of everyone at the venue and TV viewers in the country, the player, draped in a national Red and White flag he wore in the victory lap after winning the match, then moved again, to unite the two national figures in his hug.

Thousands of spectators who were present at the venue gave a big applause to what they saw.

Widodo arrived at a Pencak Silat Hall at Taman Mini Indonesia Indah in East Jakarta at 4.30 p.m. and sat beside Subianto to watch the final round of the event.

It was indeed dramatic, considering the political tension that has developed and divided the nation so far.

Widodo and Subianto have been registered to compete in the presidential election in April next year.

Kusumah admitted that he had done it spontaneously. "It was just spontaneous when I hugged Widodo and Pak (Mr) Subianto and then made them unite in the hug together," he remarked, when asked about his act after making a victory lap.

The momentum received applause from the public in the country, but Kusumah said that there was nothing political there.

"My only wish is brotherhood, and there will always be peace in Indonesia. There is no politics in pencak silat," he added.

Hanifan noted that he was grateful and proud to be able to present a gold medal to the country.

Widodo has congratulated Subianto on the success of Indonesian pencak silat athletes in winning a total of 14 gold medals at the 18th Asian Games.

"Congratulations to my good friend and my best friend Mr Subianto, the chairman of IPSI (Indonesian Pencak Silat Association) and also who leads pencak silat, on the success in the Asian Games," he explained after watching pencak silat final matches.

Indonesia has emerged as the overall champion in pencak silat (traditional martial art) after its female athlete Wewey Wita made a victory against Vietnamese opponent Thi Then Tran on Wednesday evening (Aug 29).

Wita made an impressive victory by defeating her Vietnamese opponent 5-0 in the women`s B Class of 50 kilograms-55 kilograms final round to earn a gold medal, which was the 14th for the country.

Indonesia was confirmed to be the overall champion, with a total of 14 gold medals and one bronze medal collected out of 16 pencak silat events contested during the Games.

Kusumah presented the 13th gold medal in the martial arts event after beating Nguyen with a score of 3-2 in the men`s C category of 55 kilograms-60 kilograms of the Asian Games in the final round.

Pencak silat is an Indonesian indigenous traditional martial arts, but its popularity has already spread across the world. It involves strikes, kicks, sweeping, and take down.

Indonesia fields athletes in 16 events, consisting of 10 combat (seven men`s and three women`s) and 6 art (men`s singles, women`s singles, men`s doubles, women`s doubles, men`s team, and women`s team) events.

The 18th Asian Games 2018 was the first in which pencak silat was contested as a medal event, along with other kinds of martial arts like judo, wushu, taekwondo, or karate.

A total of 160 athletes from 16 nations competed in pencak silat at the 2018 Asian Games. They are Brunei Darussalam (4 athletes), East Timor (5), India (2), Indonesia (22), Iran (9), Japan(1), Kyrgyzstan (9), Laos (14), Malaysia (20), Nepal (1), Pakistan (5), Philippines (9), Singapore (16), Thailand (16), Uzbekistan (11), and Vietnam (16).

Prabowo remarked that he was proud of the gold medals achieved by pencak silat athletes in the Asian Games 2018.

"Thank you all. You are great achievers and have promoted the name of the country. We are proud of you," he stated after watching the art event.

Prabowo expressed hope that pencak silat would be competed in the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020.

"The future target is pencak silat being competed in Olympic Games," he pointed out.

Edited by Sri Haryati