Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Having been successfully included as one of the Asian Games sports, the pencak silat martial arts must continue to be promoted in the world-largest sport event, the Olympic Games.

Henceforth, various efforts must be made to promote pencak silat in the Olympic Games, the first major, modern, and multi-sport event of international significance.

Seeing that Indonesia has succeeded in including pencak silat in the 2018 Asian Games, Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Imam Nahrawi has said he would strive for this martial arts branch to compete at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.

After watching the trampoline gymnastics match at the Kemayoran JIExpo Hall D in Jakarta on Thursday, Minister Nahrawi said, "We have followed the Asian Games together, and now we have to think how pencak silat can be competed at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo."

The sports and youth affairs minister remarked that he had lobbied his Japanese counterpart, and the Tokyo Olympic Vice President about the inclusion of pencak silat martial arts in the Olympic Games.

However, Nahrawi said he would not make it a problem if there is no one who agrees that pencak silat is included in the sports, competed in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, because Indonesia is too dominating.

When it comes to domination, the sports and youth affairs minister asks what sports are not dominated by a country.

Hence, the traditional Indonesian martial arts of pencak silat is expected to become one of the sports contested in the Tokyo Olympics in Japan later.

What has been achieved in the non-Olympic branch, all stakeholders must fight for the non-Olympic branch to enter the Olympics. There are 52 countries that have administrators of the pencak silat martial arts branch, and thus, it is expected to enter the Olympics.

In the 2018 Asian Games martial arts branch, Indonesia won 14 gold medals and one bronze medal. Indonesia only lost the chance for the pencak silat gold medal in the men`s match class F (70-75kg) and the male class J match (90-95kg).

Pencak silat really became the gold bar for the Indonesian contingent with a total of 14 gold medals from the 16 final numbers competed at Padepokan Pencak Silat, Taman Mini Indonesia Indah (TMII) Jakarta.

Chairman of the Executive Board of the Indonesian Pencak Silat Association (PB IPSI) Prabowo Subianto said he was proud to be able to play a role for the nation and the country through the achievement of gold medals donated from pencak silat.

"On behalf of the Indonesian nation, I thank all parties who support and pray for Indonesian athletes, especially martial arts," Prabowo said.

Besides Prabowo Subianto, the final day of the Pencak Silat branch was attended by President Joko Widodo, Vice President Jusuf Kalla, 5th President Megawati Sukarnoputri, Chair of the Indonesian Contingent Syafruddin, and Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Puan Maharani Culture.

An interesting scene occurs when a fighter Hanifan Yudani Kusumah hugs President Joko Widodo and PB IPSI Chairperson Prabowo Subianto together in the honor stands while clad in a red and white flag.

The event that received thousands of spectators` applause took place when Hanifan celebrated the victory over the Vietnamese fighter, Thai Linh Nguyen, in the final of the men`s class C match number (55-60 kg).

"There is no other thought, just spontaneous. Let the public know, they both have nothing. The reality is that they are fine. Unlike social media, there is a war here and there. It doesn`t look good," Hanifan told reporters. .

Hanifan became one of Indonesia`s representatives who appeared in the six final numbers. Besides Hanifan, there are still Pipiet Kamelia (class D girls), Wita Wewey (class B girls), Sugianto (single arts), Jampil Yola Primadona / Hendy (men`s doubles), and Pramudya Yuristya / Lutfi Nurhasanah / Gina Tri Lestari (women`s team ).

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).

Editing by Andi Abdussalam

Reporter: Otniel Tamindael
Editor: Heru Purwanto
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