When asked why I chose to become an athlete (weightlifting), it was because of my mother: she inspired me to become a weightlifting athlete
Bandung, W Java (ANTARA) - Having clocked achievements in the world's biggest sporting event, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, does not necessarily make the young female weightlifter from West Java, Windy Cantika Aisah, complacent.

At the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in Japan, Aisah successfully bagged a bronze medal in the women's 49-kilogram (kg) class after strongly registering a total lift of 194kg in the 84kg snatch and 110kg jerk events.

The achievement just drives her to return and deliver her best performance.

Aisah has vouched to put in her best efforts at the national sporting event, the XX Papua National Sports Week (PON) 2021.

"I do not promise anything, and I am just seeking everyone's prayers and support. Hopefully, I would be able to achieve success again," Aisah remarked when questioned about the target she was striving to achieve at the Papua PON 2021.

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Aisah, who had begun weightlifting since the 2nd grade of elementary school, admitted to being ready to go all out at the XX Papua PON since it would be her first PON ever.

The girl, born in Bandung District on June 11, 2002, has managed to bag several achievements at just 19 in 2021.

She believes that being disciplined and focused in training helped her to finally deliver those achievements.

Discipline and focus in training helped Aisah break the youth weightlifting record twice in Pattaya, Thailand, and the Philippines.

In addition, Aisah won a gold medal in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.

The bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics in the women's 49-kilogram class was her best achievement so far.

In that latest achievement, the young weightlifter was entitled to "kadedeuh" (reward) worth Rp500,000,000 from the West Java provincial government and the BJB Bank.

Taking into account her family background, it is no surprise that Aisah's ability in weightlifting is inherited from her mother, Siti Aisah, a bronze medal holder in the 1998 heavy lifting world cup.

The 19-year-old girl's initial interest in weightlifting arose as her mother and sibling often invited her to join their training sessions when she was small.

At that time, she was still so small and fussy and liked to interrupt her mother and sibling's practice sessions.

To ensure that their practice went smoothly, she was then given a barbell made from an iron pipe with weight made from cement.

"When asked why I chose to become an athlete (weightlifting), it was because of my mother: she inspired me to become a weightlifting athlete. Thus, back then, when my sibling was training, I liked to disturb my sibling. Because of that, I was then given a pipe for training," she recalled.

It was only when she entered the 5th grade of elementary school that Aisah began to take weightlifting training seriously.

During training, Aisah admitted to always staying focused and disciplined, whether the training sessions were given by her own mother or by coaches at the district level and the National Training Center. To this end, Aisah then successfully delivered many achievements.

Currently, Aisah, who is the third child in the family of three kids, has become the mainstay of Indonesia's weightlifting athlete.

Aisah spoke of always being highly disciplined and committed to the various exercises given to her.

Even a month before the Tokyo Olympics, where she successfully bagged a bronze medal, she stopped eating chili sauce, iced drinks, and fried foods.

She added that the inputs from her coach also helped her deliver the achievement at the event.

One of the significant figures behind the success of the athlete was certainly Jajang Supriatna, Aisah's coach for years.

"Mr. Supriatna (the coach) is very kind and considerate. He even controls the food that I consume. He always reminds me. My body is sensitive, so I cannot consume chili sauce, iced drinks, and fried foods," she noted.

Supriatna said that initially, Aisah had to compete with other athletes tightly to secure the position. However, due to her persistence and ability to practice well, she was then chosen to represent Indonesia at the Olympics.

"Her hard work is extraordinary. If she is feeling unfit, she does not complain. Her enthusiasm and aspirations are indeed high, especially her discipline in training and being able to organize her own exercise program, even when she is resting," the coach expounded proudly.

While competing in the Olympics before, he said, the national training team had reminded Aisah to compete optimally, though not allowing herself to get overly pressured to win.

"I told her just to perform as well as possible. Thank God, we won third place (at the Olympics). We all bowed down in gratitude. This is the result of training and hard work together. Training will not betray you. Her enthusiasm and hard work have paid off," the coach affirmed.

Despite having successfully clocked many achievements at such a young age, the 19-year-old Aisah still has a long way to go, according to Supriatna.

This time, Aisah will represent West Java for the XX Papua National Sports Week (PON) 2021.

The XX Papua National Sports Week (PON) 2021 will be held in Jayapura City and the districts of Jayapura, Mimika, and Merauke on October 2-15, 2021. At least 6,400 athletes and 3,500 officials from 34 provinces across Indonesia are expected to participate in Papua's PON National Games that will feature 37 events.

West Java Province will send a contingent of 1,239 people to the PON XX Papua, comprising 770 athletes, 390 managers and officials, and 75 supporters. Athletes from the West Java contingent are ready to compete in 37 sports at the PON National Games.

According to West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil, the province's contingent is targeting to bring home 164 gold medals in the event.

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Editor: Sri Haryati
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