Jakarta (ANTARA News) - With the Asian Games 2018 having four more days to go, host Indonesia, which has achieved its target of securing a top 10 finish, is now facing a heavy challenge to add more gold to its medal tally.

As of 10 p.m. on Wednesday, Indonesia has garnered 30 gold medals, putting it in the fourth spot in the provisional standings after China, with 102 gold medals; Japan with 51 gold medals; and South Korea with 37 gold medals.

Of the 30 gold medals, 14 were gained from pencak silat, three from sport climbing, two each from paragliding, badminton, and downhill racing, and one each from jet ski, karate, taekwondo, wushu, rowing, tennis, and weightlifting.

Indonesia clinched its first gold medal at the Asian Games 2018 through taekwondo athlete Defia Rosmaniar, who scored a 8.690-8.470 win over Marjan Salahshouri of Iran in the women`s Poomsae individual event on Aug 19.

The second gold medal for the host contingent came from wushu, where Lindswell Kwok finished first with a total point of 19.50 in the Taijijian (Taiji straight sword) category to edge out her 15 rivals.

Indonesia took two more gold medals from paragliding in the men`s team accuracy and the men`s individual accuracy. The medal tally from paragliding met the target of two gold medals set by the government.

Also contributing to the medal tally was the cycling team, which won two gold medals in downhill racing through the women`s downhill cyclist Tiara Andini Prastika and men`s downhill cyclist Khoiful Mukhib.

Prastika finished the 1.6-kilometer track in 2 minutes 33.056 seconds, followed by Thai cyclist Vipavee Deekaballes in 2 minutes 42.654 seconds.

Mukhib won the gold medal in men`s downhill in 2 minutes 16.687 seconds. The silver medal for the category went to Chinese Taipei cyclist Shengshan Chian.

The country added two more gold medals in its overall medal tally from badminton through Jonatan Christie in the men`s singles and duo Marcus Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya in the men`s doubles.

The host badminton team garnered eight medals, with two gold, two silver, and four bronze, ahead of China with six medals, although China took home three gold medals.

Surprisingly, Indonesia has made a clean sweep of all gold medals in eight finals of pencak silat, traditional martial arts originating from Indonesia, which made its debut in the 18th Asian Games this year.

Just on Aug 27, the national pencak silat athletes contributed eight gold medals, raising Indonesia`s medal standings from rank fifth, with 14 gold medals on Aug 27 morning, to rank fourth, with 22 gold medals in the evening, beating Iran, which was previously in the fourth rank, in the Asian Games medal tally.

Until the conclusion of the competition in pencak silat on Wednesday, Aug 29, Indonesia had clinched eight gold medals in the defense categories and six gold medals in the artistic events.

After all Indonesia faces a tough challenge to add more gold to its overall medal tally.

There are more than 100 gold medals up for grabs in the remaining four days. Of the total, 34 will be competed in the final rounds of 11 sports on Thursday.

The sports include athletics with 10 gold medals, track cycling (3), equestrian (1), hand ball (1), judo (5), canoeing/kayak (6), kurash (2), soft tennis (1), table tennis (1), diving (2), and trampoline gymnastics (2).

Indonesian athletes will still compete in some of the sports, including athletics, cycling, canoeing/kayak, judo, and diving. However, they will face a heavy challenge from stronger competitors.

For example, host sprinter Lalu Muhammad Zohri and his teammates, who will compete in the men`s 4x100 meter finals, will face stronger competitors, including those from China, Bahrain, Japan, and Qatar.

The same is also true in the women`s 1,500-meter race.

In canoeing/kayak sprint, Indonesian rowers will compete in five out of six finals. The host team has set no target of winning a gold medal in this sport, where China is expected to take the lead.

In the track cycling, which offers three gold medals, Indonesian cyclists will also face tough competition from their rivals from China, South Korea, Japan, and Hong Kong.

China has garnered three gold medals from track cycling, followed by South Korea with two gold medals, and Japan and Hong Kong with one gold medal each.

"Admittedly, our cyclists, particularly female ones, are less powerful than theirs," Indonesian track cycling coach Dadang Haris Purnomo said.

Judging by the stiff competition, the Indonesian athletes would have found it hard to continue the tradition of winning gold medals during the past 11 days of the Asian Games 2018.

Commander of the Indonesian contingent Commissioner General Syafruddin remained optimistic that host athletes still have a chance to add more gold to the country`s overall medal tally until the last match of the pan Asian multi sport event on Sept 2.

But the target of gold medals does not include track cycling, judo, canoeing/kayak, and diving.

"We hope we will be able to add two to three more gold to our medal tally from bridge and from water polo. Tennis, which we had not guessed earlier, has surprisingly contributed a gold medal," he said in a press conference at the Asian Games Media Center on Wednesday (Aug 29).

Obviously, the Indonesian contingent`s achievement has surpassed the target of having to finish in the top 10, he pointed out.

Reporter: Suharto
Editor: Andi Abdussalam
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