The team's manager, Enjang Bahri, remarked that the target was set on the basis of their calculations. For instance, North Sumatra's position was strengthened by a female athlete, Rizka Andini, who is a world champion.
In addition, the four other female athletes from North Sumatra that had won bronze medals at the 2016 West Java PON -- Afriani Laurensia Barus, Artety Nadeak, Rahmadayanty, and Rizka Andini -- are also participating in the Papua PON.
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"Four of our athletes, who won bronze at the West Java PON, are still playing in the Papua PON. This means we can count on their experience. I think three gold medals is quite a realistic target," Bahri noted on Tuesday.
So far, North Sumatra's Pencak Silat athletes have received guidance from three experienced coaches: Sutrisno, Apriansyah, and Agung Ramadhan.
However, Bahri admitted that his team has taken requisite efforts on account of their tough opponents, as other regions were in a stronger position owing to several Pencak Silat athletes that had competed in international championships, such as the SEA Games and Asian Games.
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"Bali, Jakarta, Central Java, East Java, and West Java are several regions with qualified athletes. We are seeking prayers of North Sumatra's people, so that our athletes can take home the medals," he emphasized.
Speaking in connection with their preparations amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Bahri noted that it had impacted the progress in preparations, especially in finding a balanced sparring opponent.
"We had trials with Pencak Silat athletes from several universities as well as from cities and districts. So far, we have continued to fight with high spirits, sportsmanship, and a winning mentality," he added.
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