Jakarta (ANTARA) - Jeany Agreta was only a spectator at the 2016 West Java National Sports Week (PON). But now, in just a few days, the sprinter from Jakarta province will make her debut at the 20th PON Games, which start on October 2, 2021.

Jeany said she had to wait a year longer to get to the quadrennial national sports event because of the delay caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which hit Indonesia in 2020.

However, the delay did not necessarily dampen the enthusiasm of the 21-year-old athlete to continue practicing in order to give her best performance at the Papua PON later.

Jeany, who is also a national team athlete, will compete in three running matches at the Papua XX PON, namely the 100 meters, 200 meters, and the women's 4x100meter relay race.

She will compete with her fellow athletes from the national training center, one of whom is the Tokyo Olympic wildcard recipient Alvin Tehupeiory, who is representing Maluku province.

Although she is still relatively young, Jeany is not a new figure in the Indonesian athletics world. She has even bagged some achievements in national and international competitions.

She made her international debut in 2014 at the Singapore Open. Since then, she has been a national athlete who has made regular appearances in some international single events and multi-events, including the Asian Championship, South East Asia (SEA) School Games, and SEA Games.

Of the many championships that she has participated in, the most memorable for the 2017 World Athletics U-18 World Championships in Nairobi, Kenya, Jeany said.

For her, the championship was especially memorable because she managed to pass the 100-meter running limit, especially given her age. She was 17 at that time.

The result, however, was not very satisfactory. Jeany failed to get into the final round after finishing sixth in the preliminary round with a time record of 13.01 seconds.

Born on August 22 in 2000, Jeany has made achievements in some other championships.

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In 2018, for instance, she got a gold medal for Indonesia in the women's 4x100 meter relay at the Asian Games Invitation Tournament in Jakarta, which was a pilot program before the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games took place.

In addition, Jeany earned gold in a 100-meter sprint at the 2018 ASEAN School Games held in Kuala Lumpur. She was able to reach the finish line with the fastest time of 12.05 seconds.

At the national level, Jeany's performance has improved over time. In 2019, she won two golds in the 100-meter and 200-meter sprints at the U-20 National Championship by clocking 12.15 seconds and 25.00 seconds, respectively.

She also recorded her fastest time to date -- 11.90 seconds -- in the 100-meter sprint at the 2019 National Student Sports Week and managed to bring home a medal.

In the same year, the 21-year-old athlete also competed in several international student tournaments, one of which was at the Summer Universiade in Naples, Italy.

At the world student sports week, unfortunately, Jeany failed to make it to the final after finishing seventh in the preliminary round with a record of 12.31 seconds.

There were no competitions that Jeany could participate in 2020 since many sports events were postponed or canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

She only competed again in 2021. Jeany was one of five female athletes sent by the executive board of the Indonesian Athletics Federation (PB PASI) to take part in the 4x100 meter relay race event titled 'Yoshioka Takayoshi Memorial Meet', held in April in Izumo, Japan.

Together with her colleagues in the Indonesian women's relay race team, Jeany competed against the Japanese national relay team, which was then preparing for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

With these experiences, Jeany said she is optimistic that she can give her best performance at the Papua PON, which will take place in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pandemic not an obstacle

Although the Papua PON Games will be held in the midst of a pandemic situation, Jeany said that she is still determined to give her best, especially since it is her first time participating in the national sports week (PON).

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Jeany admitted that the pandemic has been worrisome for all, but she does not want to see it as an obstacle for her to focus on the competition.

"I do feel a little bit worry, but I will stay focused on the competition, and I'm sure there will be some officials securing every match. And I will also focus on myself, so I do not have to think of every little thing that can drive me overthinking," Jeany told ANTARA.

In fact, she also feels grateful the Papua PON does not have to be postponed again since she waited for five years to be able to compete with athletes from all over Indonesia.

Jeany is now already a part of the Indonesian national team. However, PON remains an important sports event for her.

"PON is important for me since it is a championship in which athletes from all regions in Indonesia meet and compete with each other. And this is my first PON participation after I was only a spectator for five years. PON is also a selection event to enter the national team," she explained.

With her current status, Jeany at least has another mission in Papua.

In addition to winning medals to do the DKI Jakarta province proud, she said PON is also an opportunity to prove herself as a national-level athlete.

The National Sports Week (PON) 2021 will be held in Jayapura city and the districts of Jayapura, Mimika, and Merauke from October 2-15, 2021. At least 6,400 athletes and 3,500 officials from 34 provinces across Indonesia are expected to participate in the event.

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Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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