For her, the biggest national sports event would serve as momentum for making a comeback after back surgery in June this year.
The injury had even forced her to abandon her dream of participating in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. She said it was a shame since she had every opportunity to do so after Indonesia secured a spot through the Universality Quota.
Due to the surgery, the National Athletic Association Management (PB PASI) had to replace her with Alvin Tehupeiory for representing the country in the women's 100-meter race.
Emilia, who goes by the nickname Emil, said that she had experienced some pain in her hips since last November. She said she tried everything to heal herself, including physiotherapy.
Yet the pain did not go away, she recalled. Thinking it was a plain hip injury, Emilia kept on training.
Eventually, she got a check-up in April 2021. After a series of X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans, the cause of her pain turned out to be something more serious: an L4 (lower lumbar) fracture, or spondylolisthesis, meaning she had a dislocated backbone.
She said she was in a state of disbelief for a while since she had continued to train and had even recorded her best achievements in such a condition.
But after three doctors made the same diagnosis and the pain continued, she finally decided to undergo surgery in June this year.
After the surgery, she reported that she felt much better. Slowly but surely, she picked up training again. She said she hopes that she can now come back stronger to pursue her dreams.
This includes giving her best for Jakarta in the upcoming Papua National Sports Week. She is scheduled to participate in the 100-meter run at PON. She said that if possible she would also show up for the women's 4x100meters relay race.
The PON in Papua will be different from the previous National Sports Week in West Java, Emilia said. She said she failed the qualifications for the heptathlon in Papua.
As a national athlete, Emilia has tons of experience, having participated in many sports events. One of her significant achievements is the silver medal she earned at the Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games 2018.
She finished in the second position at the games, recording a time of 13.33 seconds. She finished just behind South Korea's Jung Hye-lim, who finished in just 13.20 seconds.
Prior to that, she won a silver in the 2017 SEA Games heptathlon in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. She collected a total of 5,386 points, just a little shy of Thailand's Sunisa Khotseemueang, who made 5,430 points.
She clinched a gold medal for Indonesia at the 2019 SEA Games in the Philippines, after finishing the race in just 13.61 seconds.
At that time, Emil had beat Vietnam's Tran Thi Yen Hoa, who finished second by clocking 13.75 seconds. Singapore's Nur Izlyn Zaini took the bronze after finishing in 13.92 seconds.
In addition to her achievements in multi-events, Emilia has a series of achievements in various other events under her belt. For example, she was the fastest runner in the Malaysia Open 2019.
Making a Comeback
At present, Emilia said she is focusing on getting the best result at the Papua National Sports Week. However, she said, she is not aiming high, considering this is his first major event post-surgery.
Emilia is actually among the best athletes on the Jakarta team. In the 2016 National Sports Week, she had managed to earn gold medals in the women's 100-m run, heptathlon, and women's 4x100m relay. She had even set new records in the first two events.
In the women's 100-m race, Emilia had bagged the gold and broken the National Sports Week record by finishing the race in 13.35 seconds.
She had finished ahead of senior Jakarta athlete Dedeh Erawati (13.56 seconds) and Rohani from West Nusa Tenggara (14.14).
In the heptathlon, she had broken the national record after reaching the highest point of 5,382. She beat West Java athlete Rini Susanti (4,800 points) by a wide margin, while Rohimayati from Bangka Belitung won the bronze with 4,571 points.
In the 4x100 meter relay, she secured the gold along with teammates Yuliana, Irene Alisjahbana, and Dedeh Erawati.
The three golds won by Emilia Nova put the Jakarta athletic team at the top, with 15 golds, 3 silvers, and 2 bronzes.
Jakarta triumphed over the host, West Java, which came second with 7 golds, 11 silvers, and 6 bronzes. Meanwhile, West Nusa Tenggara placed third with 5 golds, 3 silvers, and 6 bronzes.
For the Papua National Sports Week, Jakarta has sent 32 athletes who will appear in 25 of the 48 contested numbers. Of these, seven athletes are undergoing national training.
Besides Emilia, there is Jeany Nuraini who is scheduled to compete in two events: the women's 100-meter race and the women's 4x100 meters relay.
There are also Frederick Saputra and Diva Renata, who are scheduled to compete in the men's and women's pole vaults, respectively.
Bayu Kertanegara and Wahyu Setiawan are competing in the men's 100-meter race. Meanwhile. Odekta Elvina Naibaho will compete in three events: the 5 thousand meters race, 10 thousand meters race, and the marathon.
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Emilia Nova. (ANTARA PHOTOSIrwandi Suhirwandi/my)