We will continue to improve Fuad Ramadhan's preparations. Apart from him, Aceh is also sending a 100-meter running athlete named Burhan Wardani
Banda Aceh, Aceh (ANTARA) - Five years ago in West Java, Fuad Ramadhan had managed to win a gold medal in the 400 meters running category in the athletic sports branch during the 2016 National Sports Week (PON).

Currently, Ramadhan is going to compete in the same event, only this time, the event was held in Papua Province. He is determined to once again contribute a gold medal for the Aceh contingent at the event.

"I am determined that I can maintain my 400-meter gold medal (performance) in the Papua PON," Ramadhan affirmed after his training at the Harapan Bangsa Stadium, Banda Aceh, on Friday.

The 25-year-old athlete from East Aceh District had not expected to be a medal-winning athlete at the national level, especially in PON, where all of Indonesia's top athletes participated.

Ramadhan also admitted to not being drawn to running as a child and instead preferred to play soccer. However, from his previous engagement in the sport, he is now a running athlete, with scores of achievements under his belt.

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"When I was in middle school, I preferred to play soccer as a winger. I was placed in the wing because my coach thought I ran faster there," Ramadhan recalled.

When a sports week was held in East Aceh District in 2010, he was chosen to bolster his school team. However, his school soccer team was eliminated in the top eight round.

After he failed in soccer, his sports teacher urged him to participate in the running competition in the sports week since Ramadhan ran fast. He accepted that request.

"Back then, I did not know what athletic is. However, once I was explained that it was a running competition, I accepted to participate in it. The length of the field was 60 meters. I came in first place," Ramadhan remarked.

Owing to his achievement, he was taken to Banda Aceh to participate in the provincial-level sports week. However, he was banned, as he did not meet the age requirement.

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The incident left Ramadhan disappointed, so the following year, while in his first year of high school, he thought twice to participate in a similar activity at the East Aceh District level.

"I once felt lazy to participate in the sports week again since I was disqualified in the previous year. However, once I had the guarantee from the East Aceh organizer, I competed in the end," he stated.

Ramadhan competed in the sports week and emerged victorious. He thereafter participated at the provincial level where he also stood first. At the national level, he managed to come second.

After managing to stand second during the National Students Sports Olympics (02SN) in Palembang, South Sumatra, Ramadhan felt that his short-distance running career would stretch longer.

Ramadhan finally joined the Students Sports Training and Education Center (PPLP) in Aceh. At that place, he received his training to become a runner.

Among his achievements were his gold medal victory during the junior national championship and 2016 PON gold medal for the 400-meter category in West Java.

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At the regional level, Ramadhan managed to bring home four gold medals in the athletic branch during the 2018 Aceh Sports Week (PORA) in Jantho, Aceh Besar District.

Currently, Ramadhan is Aceh's best hope to win a gold medal during the Papua PON XX being held on October 2-15.

Currently, he is focusing on improving his routine under the guidance of Firman Fachruddin before departing for Papua Province in early October.

"We will continue to improve Fuad Ramadhan's preparations. Apart from him, Aceh is also sending a 100-meter running athlete named Burhan Wardani," Aceh athletic coach Firman Fachruddin stated.

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Ramadhan's training phase is currently entering the competition stage, so the runner is all set to compete in Papua Province.

Fachruddin is upbeat about Ramadhan competing in the championship, with an open mindset and without any burden, quite similar to the time when he won the gold medal in PON XIX in West Java Province.

Provincial Manager of the Indonesian Athletic Association (PASI) in Aceh is optimistic that Ramadhan would secure a gold during PON XX. This gold achievement aligns with the target set by Aceh's National Sports Committee of Indonesia (KONI).

"The target by Aceh KONI is suitable in accordance with the athlete's past achievements. Fuad Ramadhan's time record is still at the top. We hope that he would be able to maintain his performance," Chairperson of Aceh PASI's Provincial Manager Bachtiar Hasan stated.

For Hasan, all the 400-meter running athletes are Ramadhan's primary rivals in the PON XX. However, the toughest competitor of them all would be those from Central Java and West Java.

Despite the fact that Ramadhan's time record is still the highest, non-technical factors, such as the mental state, can affect his performance.

"We hope that Fuad Ramadhan would be able to maintain his mental state in Papua PON, so that the determined target can be achieved," Hasan noted.

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Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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