Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Emerging as the overall champion at the paragliding event of the 18th Asian Games 2018, Indonesia is upbeat about the inclusion of paragliding in the 32nd Olympic Games in Japan, Tokyo, in 2020.

At the current Asian Games, a total of 18 gold, silver and bronze medals were up for grabs and host country Indonesia emerged as the overall champion after clinching two gold, one silver and three bronze medals.

The success of Indonesia---winning six medals in the paragliding event of the Asian Games 2018---paves the way for the national team to move into the Olympic Games.

"We have a target to include paragliding in the Olympic Games. That is a long-term target. Our short-term target is that paragliding should be included the South East Asian Games (SEA Games). Thus, we can also achieve the same success (as in the Asian Games)," said Wahyu Yudha, the Indonesian paragliding chairman, after the Asian Games paragliding match at Gunung Mas arena, Puncak, Bogor District, West Java, Wednesday, August 29.

According to Yudha, the inclusion of paragliding in the 2019 SEA Games has not yet been decided, and the FASI Executive Board (Indonesian Aero Sport Federation) continues to attempt to include the sport in the SEA Games. According to paragliding trainer Gendon Subandono, paragliding has been included in the SEA Games since 2011.

"After the Asian Games, we will continue the National Training (Pelatnas) programs until the end of this year to prepare for the SEA Games. If paragliding is yet to be included in the SEA Games, we will prepare for PON 2020 (National Sports Week) in Papua," said Yudha, who is also the paragliding match manager.

According to him, the 2018 Asian Games serves as a starting point, and the achievement should become a trigger for the government to give attention to the development of paragliding in the country. "At the same time, it should also encourage us to move into the higher Olympics," Yudha said.

The rapid growth of paragliding development in Indonesia is acknowledged by Subandono, the coach of the Indonesian National Paragliding Team.

He said paragliding continues to grow in Indonesia and is increasingly in demand not only as a sport, but also as part of aerospace tourism.

"Paragliding development in Indonesia shows a rising graph, both from the number of athletes and the number of arenas," said Subandono from the paragliding arena of Gunung Mas, Puncak, West Java, Tuesday (August 28).

Subandono is one of the four people who initiated paragliding in Indonesia, and public interest in this sport continues to grow.

Since paragliding was introduced in Indonesia in 1989, until PON in 2000, there was a rapid development in paragliding, seen from the regeneration and increasing number of athletes.

"Until now, there are 2,000 licensed pilots, athletes, and hobbyists," he said.

Paragliding arenas also continue to increase in Indonesia, not only in the islands that are central to training paragliding athletes such as East Java, West Java, West Sumatra, North Sulawesi, Central Java, West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) and Bali, but also in other regions.

"Paragliding sites are scattered in several regions in Indonesia. They already have a paragliding arena," he said.

Virtually, this sport has been included in multi-events such as the SEA Games since 2011 and now in the 2018 Asian Games. "We are just one step away from paragliding entering the Olympics," he said.

As one of the founders of Indonesian paragliding, Subanono, along with David Agustinus Teak, Lody and the late Dudi Arief Wahyudi, aspired to have aero sports for the community both in terms of sports, hobbies, achievements, and tourism attraction.

"Thanks to the development of the tourism industry, paragliding has become the flagship of the aerospace tourism industry in Indonesia," he said.

Subandono added that there was an economic value that developed along with the community of paragliding in Indonesia. With the presence of aerospace tourism, it has a positive impact on businesses and the general public.

"Paragliding is the cheapest sport in aerospace tourism," said Gendon, who is also a paragliding tourism agent in Puncak, Bogor.

The success of the Indonesian paragliding team at the Asian Games 2018 showcases the prospect of this aero sports branch to develop in the future and be included in the Olympics.

"Indonesia appeared as the overall champion because it collected the most medals," said Match Manager Yudha in the paragliding arena in West Java.

Two golds were won in the accuracy landing category in the men`s team and in the men`s individual category. Athletes in the men`s team landing accuracy category consisted of Aris Apriansyah, Joni Efendi, Jafro Megawangi, Hening Paradigma and Roni Pratama. The second gold medal was grabbed by Jafro Megawanto in the men`s individual landing accuracy.

The silver medal came from the women`s team, while the three bronze medals were won each in the women`s individual landing accuracy by Rika Wijayanti, the men`s team crossing, and the women`s team crossing.

Editing by Rahmad Nasution

Reporter: Andi Abdussalam
Editor: Heru Purwanto
Copyright © ANTARA 2018