Alhamdulillah (Praise be to God), the current here is fast indeed, visibility is also bad
Jayapura, Papua (ANTARA) - East Java sea gymnastics athlete Mohammad Syamsul Arifin added to the province's gold medal collection after winning the men's M-course in the underwater orienteering discipline at Papua PON despite strong currents and poor underwater visibility.

"Alhamdulillah (Praise be to God), the current here is fast indeed, visibility is also bad," Arifin told Antara after the winner's tribute ceremony at the Yos Sudarso Bay sea diving arena, Jayapura, on Wednesday.

According to him, Papua's weather was a challenge in completing the match. He said, as it is hot and inconsistent, it can be bad for the body.

He added that maintaining the body's durability is necessary for the sport. However, when it was his turn, the weather was on his side, he remarked.

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"Alhamdulillah, (when it was my turn), the current turned out calm, and the visibility improved to about 7 meters," Arifin said.

This is the first gold for Arifin who had to settle for a bronze medal during the previous PON.

The preparation to bring home the medal was tough, he recalled. For almost two years, he trained at the Indonesian Diving Sports Association (POSSI) in East Java.

He also participated in the Puslatda New Normal's (PNN's) centralized regional training program during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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"So after PON 2016, I was preparing for two years in East Java," he said.

"Our intensive training at PNN lasted for almost a year, and since there was COVID-19, we conducted closed training. We could not go anywhere, but continued to train," he added.

On Wednesday, Arifin finished the M-course in 11 minutes and 41 seconds with a total score of 1,232. South Sulawesi's Abdul Rahman won the silver with a total score of 501.

Bali athlete Mohamad Alfian Rosyadi took the bronze medal by chalking up a total score of 500.

Athletes from the diving sport are competing in eight disciplines that will take place over four days ending Thursday (October 14, 2021).

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Translator: Arindra M, Kenzu T
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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